According to Briebart, in a recent incident in Quebec, female boxer Dr. Katia Bissonnette withdrew from the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship after discovering at the last minute that she would be facing a male-born transgender opponent, Mya Walmsley. The championship, held from October 27 to 29 in Victoriaville, Quebec, aimed to provide novice fighters with an opportunity to qualify for the Canadian Championship in December.
Bissonnette, representing Saguenay, refused to enter the ring with Walmsley, stating that she was unaware of her opponent’s transgender status until an hour before the fight. According to Bissonnette, her coach received information via text message about Walmsley’s transgender identity. Walmsley, who moved to Canada from Australia two years ago, had reportedly not been seen in the local boxing community until that day.
Walmsley, known for political activism at a local university, reacted by threatening to “out” Bissonnette, warning of grave consequences for the sport. In a statement, Walmsley criticized Bissonnette for seeking media attention instead of discussing the matter privately, expressing concerns about potential delegitimization of athletes in the women’s category and the justification of invasive regulations.
Bissonnette defended her decision to withdraw from the match, citing safety concerns in the ring. She highlighted a study stating that male blows have 163% more impact than women’s blows, even when adjusted for weight, emphasizing the physical superiority of the weakest man over the strongest woman in the studied group. This statistic reportedly originates from a 2020 strength study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah.
Bissonnette argued against allowing transgender athletes in close-contact sports, asserting that women shouldn’t bear the physical and psychological risks resulting from a man’s personal life and identity decisions. She advocated for the establishment of two separate categories: biological male and female.