Thursday, March 7, 2013

Boys vs. Girls (Gay and Transgender Athletes in America)

Transgender MMA Fighter Fallon Fox

I love living in the 21st century. As a Black man in America I can tell you that I really, really love living in the 21st century. I feel like most Black people have a time travel cut off that ends at about 1980. Yeah, that sounds about right. Anything earlier than that and you'd run into some white people that still weren't acting “right” in some parts of the world. Black Americans have the same rights as everyone else nowadays. Black parents can tell their children, “Yes, baby you can be anything. Even the President” and actually mean it. Gender equality is also better than ever. We still have work to do on both of these issues and it’s a lot better than it was say 20-30 years ago, but there is one last "bridge" of inequality to cross.” That’s the gay and transgender bridge.

Gays in America have come so much further so much faster than I ever thought they would. I always figured the religious “enthusiasts” would keep gays in the closet, but being gay has almost become mainstream. We have gay actors and actresses. We have gay video game characters. We have openly gay politicians and businessmen and women, so it’s not like being gay hurts your career anymore.  I have gay family members and friends and they’re no different than me or you or anyone else. Gay people have the same hopes, fears, dreams and needs as any other American. They just love people of the same sex. That’s all. But for as far as the gay and transgender community has come in America in the last 30 years, they’ve done nothing, and I mean, nothing as far as stepping forward in major professional sports in America.

Culliver, pictured here, has been working hard to repair his image.
As of March 6, 2013, we still don’t have an openly gay male athlete in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. (NASCAR still can’t get their stuff together with Blacks and women in their sport, so it’ll be a LONG TIME before we have a gay driver. Too many tracks in the deep-south for that to happen anytime soon.) It’s the one big social issue left for professional athletes to “champion”. Think about it, someone could legitimately become the “Muhammad Ali” or “Jim Brown” of gay rights in America. But when you have people like San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver saying things like, “a gay teammate wouldn’t be welcomed in the locker room” and NFL executives asking draftees they're sexual orientation, you can see why a gay athlete would choose to stay in the closet. (How ironic is that?! Living in San Francisco and saying something about gay people would be like managing a baseball team in Little Havana and supporting Fidel Castro. I mean no one’s that stupid… wait a minute.)  Sadly, I think he was speaking for a lot of other NFL players when he said that because I'm sure most of them probably feel the same way. They’ll never come out and say it though. It’s damn near career suicide for a person to say anything negative about gay people, even if that dislike is based on your religious beliefs. You just seem out of touch and insensitive.

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is like the NAACP (National Association for The Advancement of Colored People) was during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Much like NAACP would lose their damn minds when a white person did something stupid back in the day, GLAAD does the same thing now. I can’t wait for gay people to stop being so “touchy” about comedians saying things about them, people not liking them, etc. Get over it!! WE ALL CAN BE MADE FUN OF! (Except the “Prophet Who Shall Not Be Name.” He’s off limits! GOD FORBID YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT GUY! Can you smell the sarcasm?)

The issue of gays and transgenders in sports came up again recently when it was revealed that a female MMA fighter named Fallon Fox wasn’t always a female. The Florida Boxing Commission is reviewing her license after learning that Fox is a transgender female. Fox told on Monday that she was in fact born a man and had gender reassignment surgery in 2006. Fox revealed this information just two days after she knocked out Ericka Newsome 39 seconds into their quarterfinal bout in Coral Gables, FL.

Fox did make a bit of history as she’s the first transgender fighter to participate in an MMA event. However, Fox put false information on her application when she listed her gender as female. Fox also lied to officials in Florida when she told them she was licensed to fight in California, when her application here is still under review.

Lying about anything on her application should be more than enough to get her disqualified, but being born a man and competing against women in a sport like MMA should be illegal. As in, if you do it, and you don’t tell anyone and you get caught, you go to jail. It’s negligent, irresponsible and down right dangerous. I’m all for women doing just about anything men do, letting transgender people using the bathrooms they want and equal rights across the board, but something like this is a no-go. If you’re born a man, you just have inherent physical abilities a woman doesn’t have. Fox, for the most part, will always be bigger, faster and stronger than anyone she steps in the ring with. It’s not because she’s training harder, but because she has an advantage that her opponents will never have. She’s genetically a man. She’s going to be able to lift heavier weights, grow muscle quicker, take more punishment and deal more damage to anyone she’d ever face. I’m not saying she’s unbeatable, because I’m sure someone like Ronda Rousey can go toe to toe with Fox, but you’re kidding yourself if you say Fox should be allow to get in a ring and fight a “real” woman.

You don’t see women in the NFL or NBA for a reason. They’re just not strong enough or big enough to compete at that level and I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Hell, most of the men that played professional football 50 years ago wouldn’t even see a NFL field today! Title IX was passed to give women a fair chance to play sports and to keep men from unfairly playing against them. Fox falls into that gray area.

Just think about it this way. Say LeBron James comes out and says he wants to become a woman. He does everything it would take to make that possible, joins the WNBA and starts playing there. How many points do you think he’d score a game? 40, 50? It’d be unfair to his teammates and to his opponents because try as they might, they’d never be able to see the results James would from weight lifting and training. They’d never be able to obtain the muscle mass he would. They’d never jump as high or run as fast. Let’s be honest here, he’d make them look downright silly.

In the end, I think Fox is a woman and if that’s how she feels inside, then that’s what she is. I’ve addressed Fox as “she” and “her” throughout this piece. But if my little girl wanted to be an MMA fighter, for whatever reason I don’t know, and she got in the ring with another fighter, got knocked out and beat up badly, then cool. It’s a fight. Someone has to bleed, and someone has to lose. But if I found out my daughter’s opponent use to be a man… then all bets are off and I’m kicking HIS ass.

Time for you guys to sound off. Do you think Fallon Fox should be able to fight women? Do you think I'm right or wrong? Let me know by leaving a comment below and don't forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter @ParisLay. Thanks for reading and until next time, ENJOY THE VIEW!


  1. I think that she shouldn't be allowed to fight because unless her opponent is like a marion jones then Fox will probably beat the snot out of the challenger easily. We never address sports like figure skating aren't there openly gay people in there and also the WNBA? I'm just seeking to draw comparisons and parallels. Good article

  2. Those sports don't move the needle like the NBA, MLB, NFL or even like the MLS or NHL. It's kinda like the whole tree falls in the forest and no one's around thing you know.

  3. Well I just happened to be listening to Mel Robins on her talk show in Orlando and she has a transgender post op female call in. She was 65 years old and had the surgery 25 years earlier. She said that because Fox had been a female more than six years that the hormones she takes make her just like a female when it comes to muscle development. The MMA requires them to be at least two years on the hormones, but, is she tested for that? Can she go off them for a while, for her advantage? Those question aside, the woman did say that Fox's advantage was that she trained as a boxer for years as a man, and that gives her muscle memory and reflexes she developed as a man that gives her an advantage. Regardless of the science that this woman claims and the MMA requirements, this should not be allowed against other female fighters. If they want to fight other Post op shemales fine, but anyone who has to take a certain level of drugs to maintain their body is what sports fights against all the time and this should be no different.