South African LGBTQ Olympian Caster Semenya has revealed she’d like to have children with her wife and would still love to play for Banyana Banyana.
In a wide ranging interview with the Sunday Times, the sports icon recounted that she first met her longtime partner and spouse Violet Raseboya in an unconventional place.
“We met in a restroom in 2007,” said Semenya. “She was a runner and was being escorted by doping officials. She thought I was a boy and said, ‘What is a boy doing here?'”
In January last year, Semenya followed her 2015 traditional marriage ceremony to Raseboya with a ‘white wedding’ that made global headlines.
When it comes to children, she said that while she wants to raise five children, Raseboya wants to have two; but that’s still some way off.
“Family you start when you know that you’ll have time for your kids. At the moment we’re too busy. If we were to start a family, maybe it would be in five years time. I don’t know.” She added: “We’re not in a rush for life. We want to be consistent. We want to be ready.”
When asked if she has a preference with regard to the gender of her kids, she replied: “You know I prefer boys to girls. Boy are easy to manage.”
The record-breaker told the newspaper that she still has ambitions to play for Banyana Banyana, the national women’s football team. “I’m a footballer naturally. That’s where I started. If I get an opportunity to play, I’ll play”.
Semenya is currently challenging recent regulations imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that aim to force her to have medically unnecessary hormone therapy to reduce her testosterone levels. If not, she will be blocked from running against other women.
She has filed a case against the IAAF with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland arguing that she is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by medical means. Activists agree, with Human Rights Watch stating that the IAAF regulations “are at root a form of judgment and a questioning of women’s sex and gender identity.”
Asked about the case, Semenya said her motivation was wider than just her career. “The fight is not for me but for the upcoming generation,” she explained. “So this is all about those young girls that can be denied the opportunity to pursue their dreams. You have to understand it is all about them.”
Semenya is a three-time 800m world champion and won silver at the 2012 Summer Olympics and gold in the 800 metre event at the 2016 Summer Olympics.