Thursday, March 02, 2006

Come On Out to the Ballgame

From an August 2004 TransGriot Column
Copyright 2004, THE LETTER

One of the things that amuses me about the trans community is the lengths that we'll go to reject anything thought of as 'masculine' (unless you are a female to male transsexual). I'll get strange looks whenever I'm around some of my transgendered friends and start talking sports with a genetic male or another T-sports fan. The other people in that group will roll their eyes and inevitably come back with a lame comment such as 'I hate sports' or 'women aren't sports fans'.

Women aren't sports fans? Please. My former coworker Lucy Schroeder rivals my intensity in terms of being a sports fan. My mom loves the NFL, and my late grandmother Tama faithfully tuned in to Astros games. My late friend Glenda Baker used to give me a run for my money when we fired sports trivia questions at each other. If you take a trip to any stadium, NASCAR track or arena you'll discover that sometimes the most rabid fans are women. I'd see women screaming louder at the refs over bad calls than their boyfriends, sons or husbands.

I usually can't wait for the NFL and college football seasons to start. Admit it, some of you feel the same way, too. Liking football is part of a Texan's DNA just as a person born in Indiana or Kentucky gets misty eyed about basketball. I'm a college basketball fan, and don't get me started about March Madness. I love it except when they show repeats of a certain slam dunk from the 1983 NCAA Championship game with my beloved Cougars that makes me sick to my stomach.

I embraced the WNBA when it began play in 1997. I'm an NBA fan but hate the corporate crowds that treat going to the game like attending a golf tournament. The WNBA's affordable ticket prices allow Joe and Jane Fan to see a pro ball game with the best women players in the world. The other interesting aspect of the league is the number of GLBT people that attend games. The league estimates that ten percent of its season ticket base is GLBT.

I can confirm that. I had Houston Comets season tickets for several years until I moved to Da Ville and make a trip to Indy every summer to see my girls play.
There's a post op girl from my old gender group that had her season tickets in the same section as mine ten rows up from my seats. A lesbian couple sat on the row immediately in front of me, and another one sat behind me. I saw GLBT folks when I walked the Compaq Center concourses. We were joined by mothers and sons, fathers and daughters and entire families. We were united in our love for the Comets and our dislike of the Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty. You also had the sense of history unfolding in front of you.

Watching those games helped me get over the height hangup I had when I started transition. I couldn't gripe about being 6'2" after seeing Tina Thompson on the court. There are even taller women in the league such as the LA Sparks 6'5" Lisa Leslie and 7'2" Margo Dydek of the San Antonio Silver Stars. I discovered that many WNBA players have double digit shoe sizes such as Sheryl Swoopes and Washington's (now LA Spark) Chamique Holdsclaw. I don't complain as much when I'm hunting for fashionable shoes. I'm in good company.

It's time for us transgendered sports fans to come out of the closet. There are numerous ways to express femininity and being a sports fan doesn't detract from that. Whatever your favorite sport was growing up, enjoy and embrace it. It's okay to let your inner sports fan out.

Oops, gotta go. Sportscenter's on.

No comments: