First Night at Hockey

It's official. I am currently stuck in between genders. At my first hockey practice this week I felt really awkward and out of place. I have decided to play with the women's hockey recreational team who allow men as drop in players which is fine with me. I am not ready to play on an all men's rec team; the other rec hockey team is mixed but once again I would have to decide which dressing room to use and explaining tits to a bunch of guys or facial hair to a bunch of ladies.... I don't know would be more difficult. Playing on a team where I know a lot of the players is less weird despite the stares I currently endure from the women who don't know me.

Playing with a lot of women I already know who don't care one way or the other where I dress, makes it easier to sit alone in a dressing room. When I signed up they left it up to me to decide where to change. I could dress with the girls or dress by myself which was awkward. I think it will become even more difficult later when that dressing room becomes the men's dressing room....I am too far into my transition to feel comfortable in the ladies dressing room and not far enough along to feel comfortable in the men's.

The woman in charge has been very accommodating but I am still extremely anxious about changing. Even if I had my own dressing room I would feel even more like the outsider, the one who doesn't fit in anywhere. I really want to play this year but the anxiety is making it difficult to enjoy what should be an enjoyable recreational experience.

I can't play in a binder because I am afraid of getting hurt if my binder gets too tight or impedes my breathing. Dressing alone this year seems to be my only option and although it will be a little lonely in the dressing room I know that when I am ready to move into the men's room I will be confident and comfortable and only a little less scared.

1 comment:

(s)heslamsonthebrakes said...

I feel your pain, Marcus. I had played on a woman's touch football team for a couple years before my transition. It was in the middle of the season that I announced my name change and such. Most of my teammates had a hard time with the name switch, but all of them had trouble with the gender pronoun. I had to give them that grace though, as I was having a hard time with it myself, lol. The next season was a bit harder because I had been on T for a year, and I still really wanted to keep playing. When I expressed my indecision to the team, they said they wouldn't take no for an answer. That was a hard season for me, anxiety wise. I made sure to shave before every practice/game, I was uncomfortable with my breasts, other teams mocked me, etc. But my team ALWAYS had my back.
For example, when we went to Montreal for the nationals that year, we all had to share rooms. I stayed with 3 teammates that always gave me the privacy I needed to bind, dress etc. They had a blast when we were out because people read me as the only boy travelling with the all girls team! Hell, we went to a strip club and they all got a bang out of buying me my first lap dance. *awkward* But it wasn’t pretty being the boy on the girls team when we hit the field, and I spent the majority of our games playing either too conservative, or too rough. I was uncomfortable and distracted, both of which made for lousy football, and to top it off I was experiencing leg pain to the point where I couldn’t run without downing a bottle of advil. I quit before the beginning of next season, though I still see some of my team here and there.
I joined the men’s team this year because I really needed something to do to keep active, and I missed football so much! The first practice was unnerving because I knew that, at the very least, the captain knew I was trans. Well, that and I refused to bind while playing so my C cup just bounced around like it owned the field. But the guys were nice, never missed a pronoun (except one ass, but I didn’t see him after that), and practices went well. As regular season carried on, however, I was played less and less. They didn’t mind working me hard at practice, but I rarely saw field time beyond “hey,when you’re playing corner you can’t fade back that much” or “cole, you’re releasing your receiver too soon.” I played offense twice, and felt I was rarely used where or as much as I should have been.
I quit playing in mid-July, and blamed it on a busy schedule. Though we were awfully busy, I know that deep-down I wasn’t satisfied with being the token trans guy…I wanted to be the player I was before transitioned, and it just wasn’t going to happen for me there. Maybe it is the moobs, more than likely it is the comfort level of everyone involved (including myself), but I think mostly it is time for a new chapter in my world of active sports. I’m not giving up on football, but I am trying to find my/a/several place(s) in a world of gendered sports/activities, not to mention the specific levels/kinds/intensities of masculinity and femininity attached to those activities.
Wow *end rant* good luck, marcus. If you continue to love your sport, and play at a level that fills you up, then hopefully the rest, as my dad would say, “don’t make no never mind.”