The 127th Boston Marathon, held on Monday, April 17, 2023, saw a record 30,239 entrants, including 27 nonbinary runners in the newly-formed division.
This marked the first time that the prestigious marathon had included a nonbinary category, highlighting the growing awareness and acceptance of gender diversity in sports.
The inclusion of a nonbinary division in the Boston Marathon is a significant milestone in the fight for gender diversity in sports.
For years, nonbinary athletes have been marginalized and excluded from participating in mainstream sports due to their gender identity.
This exclusion not only robs nonbinary athletes of the opportunity to compete but also reinforces the idea that gender is binary and rigid and that there is no place for those who don’t conform to this norm.
The Boston Athletic Association‘s decision to create a nonbinary division is a step towards inclusivity, recognizing the existence and rights of nonbinary athletes to participate in sports on their own terms.
This move sends a message of acceptance and support to the nonbinary community, encouraging them to take up sports and enjoy the benefits that come with it, including physical fitness, mental well-being, and a sense of belonging.
Who is Kae Ravichandran?
The nonbinary division at the Boston Marathon made history on Monday, with Vermont native Kae Ravichandran winning the division in a time of 2:38:56. Runner-up Cal Calamia, who wore a transgender patch on their singlet, also made a statement by running their sixth marathon and first Boston as a nonbinary runner.
Both Ravichandran and Calamia expressed their joy and gratitude for being able to compete in the nonbinary division. “To be able to do it in this way, in this category, makes it so much more special,” said Calamia, who heard spectators cheering for them all along the course. “Knowing how much work has gone into getting this category – in a way, that was already a win.”
The nonbinary runners who competed on Monday did so as amateurs, as there is no professional division for nonbinary athletes. However, the fact that they were able to participate in a prestigious event like the Boston Marathon as nonbinary runners is a testament to their resilience and determination.
The inclusion of a nonbinary division in the Boston Marathon is just one step towards gender diversity in sports.
Many nonbinary athletes still face barriers and discrimination when it comes to participating in mainstream sports, including lack of access to facilities, harassment, and bullying from peers, and exclusion from competitions.
To promote gender diversity in sports, there needs to be a shift in attitudes and practices towards nonbinary athletes.
This includes creating safe and inclusive spaces for nonbinary athletes, recognizing and respecting their gender identity, and providing equal opportunities for participation and competition.
Sports organizations also need to do their part in promoting gender diversity and inclusivity.
This includes revising their policies and practices to accommodate nonbinary athletes, providing education and training on gender diversity and inclusion, and taking action against discrimination and harassment.