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Boris Johnson comments led to threats against me, says trans cyclist Emily Bridges

Boris Johnson comments led to threats against me, says trans cyclist Emily Bridges
PM ‘doesn’t know anything’ about trans issues, says British athlete who suffered abuse

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges has said comments made by 鲍里斯·约翰逊 over whether she should race women sparked a deluge of violent threats.

The 21-year-old Welsh athlete made headlines in March when her attempts to race at the British National Omnium Championships in the women’s category were thwarted by the world governing body.

“I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events” the prime minister said at a time when Bridges was already receiving plenty of criticism.

The athlete told ITV News: “It’s really strange to see probably the most famous man in Britain talking about you and having an opinion on something that he doesn’t know anything about.”

她补充说: “The response after that was as expected – I had threats of physical violence made against me by complete strangers online.”

Bridges said people were “entitled to hold an opinion about it, but there’s a way to go about voicing that opinion – and threatening to kneecap me is not that way”.

The cyclist added: “I’m scared a lot of the time about being who I am in public. Is someone going to recognise me? They were real concerns and it was a real fear that I had after the comments were made, and it was scary. I was scared.”

Some of the most vocal critics against Bridges’ potential inclusion in the March event pointed to the fact she had competed in the men’s points race of the British Universities’ Championships a month earlier.

The cyclist accepts in hindsight it was possibly the wrong decision, but insisted it was made to ensure she remained competitive, especially ahead of appearing at the championships in Derby, which initial British Cycling rules on transgender participation ensured she could enter.

“It probably wasn’t the right thing to do,” Bridges said. “I wanted to do it because I wanted to keep my skills sharp. Immediately after I came off the track, I was like ‘I kind of wish I hadn’t done that’ because I knew what was coming.”

After the UCI’s intervention and failure to grant Bridges a switch in licence, British Cycling suspended its transgender policy pending a review to “find a better answer”.

It meant any hopes the cyclist from Wales had of competing at the Commonwealth Games where transgender females are allowed to race in the women’s event – in Birmingham this summer were dashed.

Mr Johnson and Tory MPs have continued to attempt to raise questions about Labour’s stance on trans issues.

Labour first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford confirmed on Wednesday that he believes “transgender women are women” after he was pushed to define what a woman is during a session at the Welsh parliament.

基尔·斯塔默爵士 has rejected the framing media questions about whether a woman can be considered to have a penis, calling for more “tolerance”.

Asked whether he thought it was fair for transgender women to compete in women’s sport, Sir Keir said: “I think it’s for the sporting bodies to decide for themselves how they deal with this.”

The PM raised the issue at PMQs in May, 说: “I just remind the House the right honourable gentleman struggled to define what a woman was.”

Labour MP Stella Creasy said last month that she thought women could be born with penises, saying she supported self-identification. “Biological sex is real – it’s just not the end of the conversation.”

Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting said in March that “men have penises, women have vaginas”, but said: “That doesn’t mean by the way that there aren’t people who transition to other genders.”

Mr Johnson has also defended his decision to scrap plans to ban trans conversion therapy by arguing it would be harmful for children who have doubts about their gender.

Asked in April why he was pulling back, the PM pointed to the need for parents to be fully involved in their children’s decisions about whether to undergo “irreversible treatments”.