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Pokemon Judge Banned For Life After Harassing Transgender Players




A Pokemon judge has been struck with a lifetime ban following harassment of transgender players at a tournament in Canada, it's been reported, with The Pokemon Company International handing out a permanent sanction on the certified judge following alleged transphobic behaviour.

The incident is said to have taken place last weekend at the Vancouver Regionals, one of Pokemon TCG's main series tournaments. The event gathers hundreds of players from around the globe as they comPete for $65,000 in prizes as well as the opportunity to qualify for the 2023 Pokemon World Championships in Japan. It was at this event when a "Texan Pokemon judge" who has not been named is said to have been transphobic (via PokeBeach).

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PokeBeach cites player Elizabeth Barbera who says the Pokemon judge asked if he could take a selfie with her along with a group of transgender players who form the Pokemon TCG team known as Girl Power TCG. The judge asked if they could go outside the event hall so that he could ask the group questions about the transgender community. Barbera said the judge initially began the conversation positively with questions about how judges could be more inclusive. "I do think the original discussion was coming from a place of sincerity", Barbera told PokeBeach. However, the conversation soon took a far more negative turn.

Barbera says the judge then "told each of the trans women in our group how he could tell they were 'born a boy', for reasons such as 'you have a boyish build' or 'you have a manly face'". She continued: "He didn't listen to our [views] and instead chose to talk over us".

The group excused themselves from the conversation but the judge then followed the players to a private dinner that took place outside the tournament grounds where he continued to harass them. Player Natalie Miller told PokeBeach that the judge confided that he needed players to give him good feedback to "move up the ladder" but that during the dinner he continued "pointing out why we don't pass for women".

The players filed complaints using Pokemon's official support system and the event staff quickly dealt with the situation. Miller praised the event organisers for how they handled the affair. According to another member of the group, Riley Wren, the judge also had preexisting allegations. The judge has been stripped of all his titles and banned from the community by The Pokemon Company International, following the complaints.

"[The event organisers] and other judges were absolutely wonderful with how they handled everything. It was a clear sign that the vast majority of this community is loving, inclusive, and wants to treat people the right way", Miller said. "But the few who get through the cracks do so much damage".

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