I was chatting on-line with a friend in another part of Texas this morning. She is also a transgender woman (I mention that because it’s germane to the topic of this article and for no other reason) and she said she was looking forward to softball season.
While I haven’t been active in team sports (unless you count bowling) in quite some time, they used to play a pretty big part in my life. I used to play organized basketball, softball (fast and slow pitch) and baseball. I also used to wakeboard a lot, water ski, snow ski, I was an avid golfer and enjoyed an occasional game of tennis. All of that is pretty much in my rear view mirror due to age, screwed up knees and – uh, gender transition, but I miss it.
If you read the year in review I wrote about 2013, it’s easy to understand why signing up for a softball league was the least of my worries! But this simple statement got me to thinking. I asked her if she played on a co-ed team or a women’s team? She said “women’s.”
That sounded SO fun to me! I would LOVE to play on a women’s softball team. Not because of a competitive advantage but for the social aspect, making new friends and playing a game that, while competitive, isn’t a testosterone fuelled, beer soaked fantasy of living out your failed major league baseball dream by sliding into an unprotected catcher with your metal spikes in his face.
This would be fun!
But my insecurities stopped me before I started. The discussion came to mind about the Olympics allowing transgender athletes to compete as their identified gender…which they do, provided certain medical procedures have been completed.
I wonder though – would I be accepted? According to state and federal agencies I am female. According to Social Security, my driver’s license, all other I.D. and my birth certificate I am female. I have undergone hormone therapy and my blood chemistry has been tested, identical to that of a woman of childbearing years.
Still, I am 6 feet tall and weigh 180 pounds, an apparent physical advantage. Would they deny me the joy of playing softball because of concern about a competitive advantage? Is there anyone alive that thinks I would give up a long term marriage, my home, my job, most of my belongings, undergo expensive, painful and irreversible medical treatment – all so I can play women’s softball?
Gee, when you look at it like that, it sounds kind of silly
So maybe I will take the chance and sign up to play on a team. Can I hit the ball harder than the average woman my age? Maybe, but I also might just be in for a rude awakening. Maybe there isn’t an advantage. Maybe I’d just be another aging soccer mom looking to get a little exercise, meet some new friends and have some fun.