Though many of us are working toward a future in which gender does not play a role in who gets in, stays, and thrives on the esports playing field, we currently face real challenges to meaningful participation.
As a result, AnyKey is supportive of women-only tournaments that help build up and foster competitive women in the scene right now. While we continue to tackle cultural and structural issues around barriers to participation (from harassment to a lack of role models showing what is possible), women-only tournaments are an important measure to keep talented players in the game.
But it’s critical to recognize that these tournaments should be for all women, cis and trans.
Regardless of what it says on your passport or ID, or what judgements people may want to make about who they think you are, at AnyKey we believe in a policy of “you are who you say you are.” This means that anyone who self-identifies and lives as a woman should be able to participate in any women-only tournament.
We understand some will respond with concerns that this leaves events open to be being griefed by trolls. But the costs and risks in preserving outdated models of gender is too high, especially for our trans sisters who already bear a disproportionate burden.
We also believe this concern highlights that even more work that needs to be done at the organizational level to educate those running tournaments and building esports in their companies and communities.
Fostering an understanding that that the “T” can’t be left out of either gender or LGBTQ issues is important. Policies and processes, as well as forms of communication, need to be oriented to the dignity and self determination of all women.