Denmark’s sports clubs embrace third gender category

There is a ways to go yet, but move is an important step in the right direction, contends LGBTQ sports advocacy group

Denmark’s sporting landscape is heading into uncharted territory following the decision of its leading sports associations to usher in a third gender category.

Previously, members registering would have to choose between ‘male’ and ‘female’, but this year the option ‘other’ has also been included.

According to the 2022 Sports in Numbers report, compiled by sports associations DGI and DIF, 3,985 members of sports clubs checked the box marked ‘other’ last year. 

READ ALSO: Record number of members at Danish sports clubs

Not perfect, but it’s a start
Charlotte Bach Thomassen, the head of DGI, said that the move comes at the request from sports associations and members. 

“We are well aware that there are some people who feel far more included, heard and seen if they have the opportunity to register in the category ‘other’ instead of ‘male’ or ‘female’,” Thomassen told DR Nyheder.

LGBTQ+ sports organisation Pan Idræt echoed that sentiment, contending that the move sends a strong signal and is an important tool when working with gender identity in general.

An important step
However, it’s still early days. For instance, it is still up to the individual sports associations to decide whether they want to add another gender option when registering members. 

“We haven’t reached the goal just because we have this category. But it’s an important step in the right direction,” Christian Bigom, the chair of Pan Idræt, told DR.

The news comes on the heels of revelations that Denmark saw a record number of sports club members in 2022.