US: Professional mixed martial arts fighter forced to come out as trans woman
A professional mix martial arts (MMA) fighter has been forced out of the closet as a trans woman.
Fallon Fox has been a woman MMA fighter to her training partners and opponents for the last five years but due to circumstances beyond her control, she has revealed that she is a trans woman.
She said: “These past six years, people have seen me as a woman, not a transsexual. People in the gym, people I train with, it’s been great, it’s been awesome. I’m just a woman to them. I don’t want that to go away. It’s unfortunate that it has to.”
Last Saturday, Ms Fox received a phone call from a reporter who seemed to know about her secret past. Within a few days she had a call from her former trainer who had been contacted by the same reporter.
She said: “For years I’ve known at some point it’s very likely the shoe would drop. Someone would guess that I’m trans. Maybe they would know me from my life before I transitioned. I’ve been waiting for that phone call to happen. And Saturday night, it happened.”
The telephone call prompted her to officially come out as a trans woman in an interview with Outsports.
It has been ten years since Ms Fox told her parents that she felt like she was born in the wrong body.
Her parents, convinced she was gay, sent her to a gay conversion therapist who tried to tell her she was a gay man so he could turn her into a straight man. Ms Fox has not spoken to either of her parents in almost two years.
When the therapy ended, she began hormone treatment and six years ago she had a gender reassignment surgery. Shortly after her surgery, she took up MMA fighting.
She said: “I get to train and hit on the bag and let some aggression out. And I love being out in front of the crowd when I compete. I love displaying my skill. All the hours of hard work and training, and you go out there and get to display what you’ve learned. At least when you lose, you know you tried your best. That fight experience is intoxicating.”
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Ms Fox is aware that some fans and some fighters will try to credit her success to the fact that she was born in a male body however, she argues that after 10 years of hormone therapy and her gender reassignment surgery, any advantage has been removed.
She said: “I’m technically, legally, physically and mentally female. Everything about me is female.”
Due to her physical transition, she would even be eligible to compete in the Olympic Games.
Her manager, Brett Atchley said: “She’s gone through this process and it’s been more of a challenge, and it’s taken more of a commitment, than anyone she steps into the cage with. It doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that she was strong enough and trusted me enough to tell me.”
However, Ms Fox worries that she will now be labelled a ‘trans female fighter’ instead of simply a ‘female fighter.’
She said: “I consider myself a woman. I happen to fall into the transgender category, but I rather describe myself as a woman first, transsexual woman second.”