Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Out outside of college

I haven't talked much about being an out trans-athlete outside of college. The adjustment from college track and field to non-colleigant track is rough whether you are queer or not. You have to figure out very quickly how to pay for all your meets, travel and equipment, you have to find a coach, and/or a place to train, you also have to find the right meets and everything else. There is a lot of stuff that you relied on your coach for that is now all in your hands and so it is a big adjustment. It is also an adjustment to compete against the best in the country at all levels rather than just DIII as it was for me. Personally I found all but the funding to be easy and work itself out along the way. Being out certainly made me the black sheep. I was isolated and almost quarantined because of it. I was constantly questioned on my gender identity and whether or not I was cheating and taking T because of my appearance. I found more doors close than open due to being out. I lost abilities to compete at bigger meets not due to lack of talent but lack of blatant heterosexuality. In my sport women are shunned for being more masculine then they are already naturally are due to their high levels of muscle bulk. My competitors over feminize themselves in order to not be seen as anything masculine b/c of their body shape. Any woman not fitting the feminine identity is shunned in order to keep the feminimity of the athletes well set. Most often at meets I am called the tranny the It throwing. I have been asked at big meets if I was aware that I was competing in the women's competition and that I must have misheard. People call me the he-she, she-he and find cute little ways to put jabs in every chance they get.
Being an out trans-athlete I've learned that you have to mentally tougher than all of your competitors, and willing to sacrifice more and work harder to accomplish the same thing as your competitors. I guess that should make my accomplishments mean even more to me but I find it to be a double edged sword in that my accomplishments do mean something but I work and drive myself into the ground mentally and physically for track, and yet I am still seen as a nobody in track and field not because I can't throw but because I'm trans.
There are days where I wonder if it is worth since being an elite athlete you sacrifice your life no matter your identity but when for me I closet my identity again. I continue to live in skin I can't even look at in the mirror to throw. People have asked me if it is worth it or why I sacrifice my identity. That answer is relatively simple. I love to throw. THe only place in my life I feel whole, I feel powerful is in a throwing circle. I feel powerless in the rest of my life and regaining that sense of power feels great. I veered off the topic of being an elite trans-athlete. But for me personally being that athlete I have this debate on a regular if not daily basis. I have a personal struggle of is it worth it? Is losing and sacrificing your identity worth it? Is destroying my body worth it?, etc... When I can't answer immediately or I can't say with 100% certainity that it is worth it, or my love for throwing has died then I will quit, but till then I will continue to have this debate and question every decision I've made, but I will also throw and turn heads while doing it.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific post, Corbyn. I hope writing this blog is as healing for you as it is educational for the rest of us, Pat