Female Darts Player Opens Up on Soul Crushing Experience of Forfeiting Match Against Trans Opponent

Dieter Hedman, a former world #1 darts player from Britain, has been making headlines for her controversial decision to forfeit a match against transgender opponent Nolan Van Luven at a recent tournament in Denmark.

In an exclusive interview, Hedman opened up about her reasons for refusing to compete against the transgender woman, who began transitioning from male to female in 2022 and was the first trans woman to play in a televised darts tournament in 2023.

“It got to me and it was beginning to affect me physically, mentally,” Hedman said of having to play against a biological male. “I’ve struggled with the situation of playing a transgender [opponent] on more than one occasion.”

Hedman, who sits on the athlete’s commission board for the World Darts Federation (WDF), said many of her fellow female players have complained about having to face transgender athletes. She broke down in tears at a recent tournament after female players expressed their discomfort to her about the situation.

“I’ve read so many things and in fairness, it just hurt my head,” the Jamaican-born Briton said. “So many girls were coming to me telling me this, that, and whatever. And I just sat there and just put my head down, and I was absolutely crying my eyes out.”

A key issue for Hedman is the biological advantages she believes transgender women retain from going through male puberty. She questioned why transgender women are allowed to have twice the testosterone levels as biological females in darts competitions.

“If you want to be a woman and there’s no difference between a transgender and natural born woman, then we should be at the same level,” Hedman stated. “If there’s no difference, why are they allowed to be twice the size as a woman?”

Hedman fears that allowing transgender athletes to compete in female categories could eventually lead to young boys joining and dominating youth girls tournaments. Her stance is about “fighting for the girls that are out there, that won’t have that opportunity” if transgender participation is fully accepted.

While supporting inclusion, Hedman believes the solution is an open category that allows anyone to compete, rather than forcing transgender athletes into female-only events. “Where I can say forward is probably having an open [category] for trans, non-binary and whoever wants to play that,” she said.

The WDF has stated it believes in “equal opportunity for all people to participate” but will consider eligibility guidelines for transgender athletes to ensure a “fair and level playing field” for all competitors.