14/06/2018 13:51 BST

Parkrun Registration To Be Made More 'Inclusive' After Criticism Over 'Binary Gender Choice'

'Not being forced to lie by saying that you are a man or woman, makes a big difference.'

Gareth Copley - PA Images via Getty Images
Participants in the 5km Parkrun around Hyde Park in Leeds in 2012.

An international running club is updating its UK registration process after it was criticised for providing a “binary choice” for gender selection.

Those signing up for Parkrun’s weekly 5Ks, held in thousands of locations around the world, are only presented with “male” and “female” options on the group’s website.

A non-binary Twitter user first flagged the issue, which was then picked up by the Cissexism Daily account.

It said: “A significant & ever-growing number of people across the UK identify as non-binary and/or gender-fluid.

“Could you provide some more options on your form to recognise this gender diversity & include all runners? 

“And could you make the question optional, not compulsory?”

According to LGBT+ charity Stonewall, non-binary is defined as “an umbrella term for a person who does not identify as only male or only female, or who may identify as both”.

Gender fluid comes under the term trans, “an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth”. 

Parkrun UK responded: “Thanks for raising this issue - we know that the current form needs to be updated, and we are working on changing the registration process to be more inclusive.”

Mia Harris, an LGBT+ rights campaigner, told HuffPost UK: “Asking for gender, and only providing two options, male, and female, makes non-binary people feel excluded and invisible.

“The transgender community experiences significantly higher rates of mental health problems because of prejudice and discrimination. Providing more options on forms that ask for gender won’t make any difference to people who do identify as men or women.

“But for non-binary people, having your gender recognised, and not being forced to lie by saying that you are a man or woman, makes a big difference.”

Parkrun UK has been contacted for comment.