Introduction to Mianne Bagger



I first started my site to help clarify many of the issues surrounding me when I first started playing professional golf in 2004. During, and following, my first tournament at the Australia Women's Open in Feb/Mar 2004 I attracted worldwide media attention which continued over the next couple of years. All of the controversy unfortunately is unfounded and stems from widespread ignorance in the world when it comes to issues of gender and natural human diversity. The common misconceptions are further propogated by what we read in most of the worlds 'popular' media, which is why I have decided to be open about my life. I hope my life can help provide greater education and awareness. As a great man once said:

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Since that first tournament, I have prompted rules changes on most of the golf tours around the world, but the understanding of gender and transitioned athletes in sports remains an issue so very much misunderstood and under researched. If you have been to my site before then you know what all the media attention has been about, but if this is your first visit then I provide more information about me on the various pages on my site. Numerous articles can also be found on the internet by entering my name in search engines.

Although most of the tours have amended rules and entry conditions creating some level of eligibility for transitioned athletes, they are still a long way from properly addressing gender diversity as it pertains to sports. The golf tours are however not to blame for this, as they don't have the resources or the expertise available to them to get the information they need. Their example came from the IOC which, in 2004, announced their 'position statement' on the matter (known as the 'Stockholm Consensus of sex reassigned athletes'). It has subsequently discovered (through a conference call that included myself, Kristen Worley and Dr Patrick Schamasch (Medical Director for the IOC)) that this 'consensus' was very poorly researched (if in fact at all) and it's approval was arrived at following a membership vote of the IOC Athletes Commission. It was not based on medical and scientific fact as such a decision should have been.

Specific research on the physiological differences between sexes in sports has never been done, let alone that pertaining to the diversity that exists. The medical and scientific facts on the effects of the hormonal and phsyiological makeup and the important parts they play in physiological abilities, do however exist. They are almost common knowledge in the medical profession, yet nobody seems to have applied it to the broad spectrum of issues in sports.

Following the intial media focus and fuss with my first couple of years on tour, life has pretty much settled down for me know and I have been left to focus on my golf. I continue to work on my game and to follow my passion for a game I have always loved so much. There is still a lot of progress to be made in international sports and I hope my life at least helps to broaden attitudes and help further progress to be made.

Society, and hence sports, functions on a binary notion of gender ...that one is either female or male. Within those definitions are very strict 'guidelines' of what that means both physically and biologically. Until now, there has never been room for people that don't fit those 'guidelines', as if someone has taken it upon themselves to decide what 'normal and acceptable' is. This continues to have huge implications on so many people around the world who become outcasts, through no fault of their own. Because a society has been developed to believe that being born different, is just wrong. ...not acceptable.

As long as that continues to happen, I hope I can continue to provide more insight and education into the realities of human diversity and the huge 'grey' area that exists between the 'black and white' definition of male and female. There is nobody that should be deciding on who and what is acceptable, when it is how they are born. | ©2009