Female boxer withdraws from championship over transgender opponent

Katia Bissonnette stated, 'There was no information, not even specifying that it was someone who was born male. It's like everything was normalized.'

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During the provincial Golden Gloves championship in Quebec on Oct. 27 to Oct. 29, Katia Bissonnette, a female boxer from Saguenay, withdrew from the competition upon discovering that her opponent, Mya Walmsley, identified as a transwoman. The revelation came just one hour before the scheduled match, leading to Bissonnette's withdrawal and Walmsley claiming victory by default.

Katia Bissonnette, who had fought her way back from a tumultuous past involving addiction issues, spoke passionately about her journey into boxing during an interview. She emphasized the positive impact the sport had on her life, helping her overcome challenges and rebuild herself both physically and mentally.

The controversy arose when Bissonnette learned that she was slated to fight a trans-identified male without prior notice. The lack of transparency from the Quebec Boxing Federation regarding Walmsley's history and qualifications left Bissonnette in a difficult position. She expressed disappointment in the federation's handling of the situation and emphasized the need for clarity and accountability.

Bissonnette stated, "There was no information, not even specifying that it was someone who was born male. It's like everything was normalized." Faced with a lack of information and the unprecedented scenario in Quebec's amateur boxing, she made the decision to withdraw, concerned about the safety and fairness of the match.

Reflecting on the aftermath, Bissonnette underscored the importance of trust in the federation and criticized its lack of transparency. She expressed disappointment at the federation's silence on the matter and called for acknowledgment, an apology, and a refund of her membership fees.

Addressing the broader issue of transgender participation in women's sports, Bissonnette emphasized the need for responsible decisions. She acknowledged the struggles faced by transgender individuals but argued against women bearing the physical risks of competing against biologically male opponents.

You can support April Hutchinson in her battle against the Canadian Powerlifting Union at StandWithApril.com.

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