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thank you for sharing, Taylor 🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️
I've played sports my entire life. I was the swimming and tennis captain, and started playing volleyball during my senior year. I carried on playing club volleyball for the men's team before I transitioned at the University of Washington.
Growing up, I wasn't a great representative of the queer community. I wasn't that person who is welcoming and advocating for everyone.
I was an out athlete in high school but had a very closed-minded idea of what gender and gender expression was, because I didn’t have the best representation or interpretation of gender with all the toxic masculinity in sports.
I had this idea of what it was to be – at that time – a ‘gay man’, but not to be stereotypical in terms of whatever that meant in 2008. I was definitely that person who would be like "I am gay, but not that gay".
A lot of that also had to do with being raised Mormon and having parents who were immigrants – I'm first-generation Philippine American, so I’m already so multi-hyphenated. I struggled so much with identity and where I belonged, always feeling like I had nowhere to go.
Whether I was playing basketball, swimming team or tennis – all spaces were predominantly made of cis-het males.
It's unfortunate how there's always this innate need in society to have someone below you. I wasn't maybe the nicest person in high school to the other one or two queer people who were playing sports at school.
I used to have a lot of shame around not being the representative I needed to be at those ages. But I also know that I did what I had to do to survive. I had to blend in, I had to code-switch, I had to do all these things to feel safe in a sports environment.
That's something I like to share. Because I don't want people to get this idea that I've just always been an advocate who understands gender.
[As told to @Ragi Gupta — continued: https://www.pixstory.com/story/degendersports-i-think-that-just-existing-as-a-queer-person-is-a-form-of-protest1679060901/199739]