I wore a slogan against the World Boxing Council in my last match. I just had to let out my hurt somehow in this space. Hurting not just because of them but because of you and “us”. The self-organised/alternative fight scene is grossly overestimating its anti-discrimination claim.
Discrimination, segregation, and exclusion poison anything and anyone they touch. You think you can compete at events where trans people are barred totally from participation, and it won’t impact our relationship as comrades? Events by an organisation that loudly announced this decision with the most heinous sexist/transphobic propaganda. How can it not strain our networks, associations, and teams when the people you train, organize, spar, or fight with go on to competitions where you could never go? Post about it like a happy vacation and even tag the WBC when clubs who have transmisogynist politics are even part of the alternative scene. When your comrades have training opportunities (beyond the far too small DIY bubble) that you can’t use properly because you are barred from using changing/shower facilities, othered, and made to feel unsafe. A comradeship that is not poisoned would deal very differently with being in that position: refuse to be a part of it, only use it to break the exclusion down. But I’ve very rarely seen such a principled stance.
I just want to enjoy the sport like you do. It even helps my dysphoria; it reframes my clockable features as just how a woman fighter looks because I work for it. I never liked to think about my goals in this sport, regarding actual defence capabilities (though I need them), because this mindset in everyday training burdens mental health. I need to be able to see it as a game. Which is hard when the end-game is off-limits for “people like you”. That I’m too tall to be matched in mainstream gendered fight events is tough luck, but when a whole organisation decides that even if I were smaller, “people like me” are not allowed, it’s different: it’s no longer individual, rather making us into a class of not belonging.
~ A trans Muay Thai fighter in Germany