A museum in London, Ontario, has chosen to erase a female powerlifter from its resilience-themed exhibit after she voiced concerns about the inclusion of biological males in women’s sports. The removal of April Hutchinson, the powerlifter in question, came swiftly on the heels of her suspension from the Canadian Powerlifting Union.
The exhibition, titled “Resilient London: Meet Your Neighbours,” kicked off in October at the Museum London. It aimed to inspire the local community by showcasing individuals and their triumphs over various challenges. Hutchinson, highlighted not only as a local athlete but also as a survivor, found herself at the center of controversy due to her vocal stance on preserving women’s sports.
On November 10, Hutchinson received a letter from the museum’s Executive Director, notifying her of the removal from the exhibit. The letter cited her media appearances, particularly her commentary on male athletes participating in female sports, as contradictory to the museum’s values. It accused her of “denying” the existence of “transgender women” and suggested her statements violated the Ontario Human Rights code.
Expressing her dismay over the museum’s decision, Hutchinson disclosed that the administrators were already aware of her views before including her in the exhibit. She criticized the sudden and decisive move, emphasizing the hurt caused by the decision.
Hutchinson highlighted that her suspension from the Canadian Powerlifting Union, directly linked to her outspoken stance on women’s single-sex sports, coincided with the museum’s decision to remove her display. She accused the museum of neglecting women’s concerns about safety and fairness in sports, asserting her commitment to truth and refusing to compromise on her beliefs.
Despite facing adversity, Hutchinson has received substantial support, including endorsements from fellow athletes like Martina Navratilova. Her activism, she emphasizes, is rooted in the pursuit of fairness and equal opportunities for women in sports rather than being anti-trans.
The removal of Hutchinson from the exhibit underscores the ongoing debate surrounding the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports. As women like Hutchinson continue to advocate for the preservation of women’s sports, the clash between transgender rights and women’s rights intensifies.