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World in transition: sport and transgender athletes
  1. Katherine Rizzone
  1. Orthopaedics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine Rizzone, Orthopaedics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA; katherine_rizzone{at}

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Participation in sport has multiple physical, mental and emotional benefits.1 Moreover, sport participation may help individuals establish a key component of their identity, while fostering stronger connections with others. Sport participation also can facilitate mutual understanding between individuals who have differing life experiences, beliefs, values and perspectives.

A transgender person is someone whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Previous estimates suggest that 0.6% of Americans identify as transgender, and in a recent survey of American high school students, 1.8% identified as transgender, suggesting that transgender youth are a rising proportion of the population.2 Transgender individuals disproportionately experience higher rates of hate crimes, poverty, housing and employment insecurity, and have greater risks of depression and suicide as compared with their cisgender counterparts.2–5There are also important intersectional considerations of gender and race, with black transgender women being at the highest risk for antitransgender actions.5 Particularly troubling is that more than half (56%) of American transgender youth expressed suicidal ideation and almost one-third (31%) reported a previous suicide attempt.6 Transgender individuals can experience significant distress from the mismatch between their gender identity …

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  • Contributors KR is the sole author of this editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.