Welsh cyclist Emily Bridges – a trans woman – was the only sports figure listed on British Vogue’s 25 “powerhouse women” list in its September issue, and the decision roused discussion across social media.
“This year’s list is not only dazzlingly impressive, but comprised of trailblazers finding success wholly on their own terms,” the article read.
Bridges, 22, appeared among the list of models, authors, members of the Royal Family and fellow activists as the sole athlete, known best for fighting for inclusion for trans athletes after the British Cycling Federation barred them from competing in women’s events.
“It’s very scary at the moment, but I genuinely believe that we will win,” she said, per Vogue’s article.
The magazine’s rundown about Bridges also disclosed that she donates muscle samples to Loughborough University research to help identify whether biological male athletes do hold an advantage over biological females.
Former Olympian Mara Yamauchi blasted the choice on X, writing, “Right now there are numerous fabulous female athletes in Budapest competing at the World Athletics Champs.
British Vogue named transgender cyclist Emily Bridges to a list of 25 “powerhouse women.”Mike Marsland/WireImage
Bridges was the only athlete named to the magazine’s list.Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images
“In other sports too, thousands of fabulous female athletes @BritishVogue could have chosen. Instead they chose a man.”
Amanda Platell, columnist for The Daily Mail, asked if the selection was a “sick joke,” writing, “British Vogue name trans cyclist Emily Bridges in their list of the 25 ‘powerhouse’ women. He’s a bloke competing against women! Meanwhile international Olympic sportswomen are ignored. Emily is not an elite woman athlete, she was born a man. Some powerhouse.”
Some supported the decision, however, with one fan writing, “This is sensational… The ultimate acknowledgement, acceptance and inclusivity. Her brave fight for fairness is far from over, and, armed with genuine science, this trans voice will finally be heard.”
British Vogue wrote that the list includes “trailblazers finding success wholly on their own terms.”Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images
Another said the Vogue piece was “great,” adding, “I wish cisgender people would acknowledge this, not just trans people fighting for our ability to just exist in this sporting structure.”
Fox News Digital reached out to British Vogue for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
In a separate opinion piece published with Vogue, Bridges blamed the inherent “unfair[ness] of sports” for outrage over trans athletes.
Bridges notably fought for trans people to compete in British Cycling Federation women’s events after they were banned by the federation.Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images
“That’s why there are winners and losers. Competitors are put into categories so everyone has a reasonable shot at winning, but the reality is that the playing field is never completely level in the first place,” she said. “All athletes have different levels of endurance and physical ability, that’s why we train relentlessly.”