‘They Have Only Done This To Hurt Me’: Trans Disc Golfer Removed From Tournament Following Court Order

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Transgender disc golfer Natalie Ryan sounded off Sunday after the Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) enforced rules that resulted in the athlete being removed from a women’s tournament.

Ryan, a biological male, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the DGPT and the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) in February over its Gender Eligibility Policy, which prevents some transgender athletes from competing in the women’s division. Ryan argued the new rules violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, Bloomberg reported. Ryan was given a temporary restraining order Thursday, which allowed the transgender athlete to compete among women, according to the New York Post. The DGPT then filed an appeal to the lawsuit, which it won, and Ryan was subsequently removed from the competition.

Ryan was in fifth place after the first round before being removed Friday, the NY Post reported. (RELATED: Another State To Consider Banning Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports)

“This order restores the DGPT’s ability to enforce its current policy on Gender Eligibility. The DGPT will follow the court’s ruling and enforce its Gender Eligibility Policy which will disallow Ms. Ryan from continuing competition in the OTB Open,” the DGPT said in a statement, according to the NY Post.

Ryan responded to the removal with a promise to continue fighting.

“The DGPT and PDGA are afraid of metaphor, so I’ve taken down my previous post. Instead I’m going to make that posts [sic] message incredibly clear. My removal from [the] OTB [Open] was targeted just as the new policy was,” Ryan said in an Instagram post. “The DGPT is now forcing rules that it has no place to. They have only done this to hurt me. I will continue to litigate until justice is achieved. I will use this pain to make sure nobody else has to experience it.”

The PDGA in December 2022 released a set of updated rules that placed restrictions on some transgender participation in the top women’s professional division. The new rules mandate competitors who are trans women must satisfy a series of requirements, including maintaining a testosterone level less than 2.0 nmol/L for two years, down from 10 nmol/L for one year, as the association previously denoted.

The new rules also took into account a member survey, which indicated the majority did not approve of transgender athletes competing against biological women. Ryan responded to the updated rules with an Instagram post at the time.

“This change was never about fairness,” Ryan said.

“This decision sends a clear message: The board doesn’t want to see me succeed,” Ryan added.

“The PDGA Global Board of Directors values fairness and inclusion and will continue to evaluate and update this policy as additional science and data become available, and as additional sporting organizations around the world continue to look closely at this issue,” the association wrote in a press release for the new rules.