Ona (not her real name) can already smile. The Catalan Swimming Federation will set up a federative file for this eight-year-old trans girl to compete with girls her age. The little girl’s family claimed a license since last September, but the federal entity understood that it should be based on the data of the civil registry, where its transit has not yet been recorded. After months of claims and complaints, Ona will be able to jump into the water and compete like all the other girls.
“We are celebrating. We are very happy! The girl is very happy, also a little surprised ”, explains her mother to EL PAÍS. On the way home from school, they already told her that they had good news for her. At home they confirmed that he could compete. “He doubted whether he would swim fast or not,” adds the mother. “Now we will know.”
The federation’s board of directors approved Wednesday night the issuance of a female license for the minor. To do this, it will take the data from the girl’s health card, which includes the change of name, and will not rely on her ID for registration, at the proposal of the Generalitat’s Secretary of Equality. The Administration, the federation and the entities that support the LGTBI collective have held talks for the last two weeks to resolve the situation. “We all wanted the same thing,” all sources agree.
The Department of Social Affairs called the minor’s mother yesterday morning and communicated the solution. “I’ve spent a good time walking around with the phone close to my ear,” explains the mother with a laugh. “The club coach is also delighted. We hope that in a month or so, we can make the license effective and my daughter begins to compete ”. Ona had asked her family weeks ago to stop swimming if she could not participate in competitions with the other teammates of the club. “I don’t understand why I can’t go with them,” he told his mother.
The delay in finding a solution for the minor is the great conflict in history. The federations are governed by their own regulations, and the administration does not have sufficient protection to facilitate the transit of trans minors. The federation considered that it could not assign the minor a female license because her documentation did not reflect her felt sex; and the family preferred to avoid the change in the civil registry to protect the minor from a process that includes psychiatric examinations and the approval of a judge. “We are sorry that it took so long. Today the rights of the girl have been respected, ”says Ana Valenzuela, vice president of the Chrysallis association, which together with the Sport and Diversity entity led the demands to solve the case of Ona. “We hope that a regulation will be started immediately to ensure the integration of trans minors in sports competitions,” he claims.
The Generalitat is now presenting itself as a companion to the federations and the Catalan Sports Council to find a legal framework that protects sports bodies and facilitates the participation of trans minors. “This case is a turning point for all those people who are in this situation, and for those who will come”, analyzes Mireia Mata, general director of the Secretariat for Equality of Catalonia. “The pity is that the process has been painful for the girl and the family, but it has been a pioneer because it sets a precedent. Now we must find a general solution, and not only for specific cases ”, he adds.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.