Unfortunately, I have two stories to share with regards to the #respectHERgame movement.
With sharing this story, I speak my truth, and I hope, that by sharing mine, other people, regardless of their respective story and truth, feel empowered and supported by those who have already spoken up.
Together, in solidarity, we stand stronger. Enough is enough!
This is the first of two of my stories.
Content/trigger warning. Unsolicited physical harassment, perceived sexual harassment, transgender, “tranny chasing”
Because it is the behaviour that needs to be highlighted, addressed and called out, and not the person having displayed said behaviour, identifying details have been removed.
On the fairways, I have been “very lucky”…
I shouldn’t have to say that, the normalised situation has to be that we are not made victims. We, as the disc golf community, all need to want to do, and be, better. We all need to work on re-normalising what is acceptable and what isn’t.
… not to have fallen victim to any abuse as far as I know. I don’t recall anyone cat-calling me, or anyone making inappropriate remarks on either my physique (I suffered the onslaught of 42 years of testosterone on my body and appearance), my outfit (I like skirts and fitted polos, and leggings when it gets colder), my being transgender, or even what being transgender could possibly mean in competition.
During one event, where I was both player and assistant TD, I have felt incredibly uncomfortable with one player who – oddly enough, whenever I was at HQ – kept making ever-so-slightly off remarks in person, obviously trying to get close to me, physically for sure, but also on a psychological and emotional level.
We had connected online prior to the event, them reaching out to me as a declared ally, and my being transgender being a, if not the, recurring theme in our conversations.
At a certain point, it’s Saturday, between rounds #1 and #2, while I was sat at the TD/scoring/everything desk, hacking away at validating scorecards and entering scores with another staff member sitting next to me, they – consent was not asked, and it most certainly was not given! – started touching me, giving me an unsolicited shoulder massage. I immediately brushed their hands away from my body, and just carried on making sure scores were entered correctly and quickly. I did not think to take action, as I know I was clear enough to them that I was not buying, or selling.
The trying to be close to me, however, did not stop until I’d leave HQ. It was the same from Friday to Sunday, minus the physical contact on Saturday.
In hindsight, what was presented as an amazing, and unexpected, and highly unnecessary gift during sign-in on the Friday; a mint condition, ziplocked, late 80’s tournament disc (I don’t even collect, but I am certain that is a valuable disc), now feels like a very, very dirty upfront payment for potential services to be rendered.
Because of what happened during the tournament, it became glaringly obvious there was intent here. And what that intent was.
I am a transgender woman.
I do not assume anyone is familiar with the term “tranny chasing”, but it is a thing. Typically done by cisgender people, displaying an almost fetishistic desire to be with transgender people, a transgender woman in my particular case. There seems to be some sort of consensus that pre-operative transgender people are the ‘pink elephant’ to be chased and captured. At that point in time, I was pre-operative.
Some time later, that person made inappropriate remarks online about me being their girlfriend (referring to the shoulder massage perhaps?), and when I called them out on how incredibly inappropriate that was, aside from the fact that it was nowhere near the truth, the following discussion took place:
About a year ago, when meeting in public, at another tournament, I confronted them on their having been highly inappropriate with me, and a good talk followed. That resulted in us clearing the air, and them realising how, and why, their behaviour was unacceptable.
We then went our separate ways again.
From my end the ax is buried, and I hold no grudge towards them. I assume the same is felt by the other party. Will I be courteous when I meet them next? Yes. Would I invite them to my birthday party? No.
Enough is enough!