Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Playing on the Boys Tennis Team

I wanted to share a great experience from this past week. When you have a transgender kid, you never know how people you meet will react. 

TN came to me weeks ago saying he wanted to try out for the high school tennis team (he's 11th grade) but he needed a physical and try outs were the next day (gee, do things last minute much? LOL).

Soooo... He went without the physical and as I suspected, he wasn't allowed to try out. No biggie. They made him a team manager so at least he can be involved.

Of course, I was kinda glad because I don't think he qualifies to play on a boys high school team since his school gender is still set to female. So this allowed me to avoid that mess for a little while. I honestly didn't want to talk with a boys coach out of fear he would not understand and would cause more problems... :-(

Anywhooooo... the tennis coach called me the other day (this is after 4+ weeks of practices, etc) to say he wanted to talk but it was nothing bad. He basically was all like "Not sure how to approach this, so I'll be blunt. I had no idea that TN was transgender." I held my breath for a second and waited. He then continued with "And I don't care about that...and as a matter of fact, I will make sure nobody ever treats him differently and I started looking into what the Virginia high school sports rules are so we can try to get him on the team next year."

I was internally jumping for joy. An advocate in high school sports. And an unsolicited advocate!

We got talking more and I asked him how he knew TN was trans - did TN tell him? The coach told me that it was total accident. That the athletics director was reviewing all the rosters and told the tennis coach that he couldn't find a TN's name in the school info system - all he could find was a female with the same last name so the coach was baffled and thought maybe that was a twin sister? LOL. Long story short, the coach spoke w/the guidance counselor and was given the details.

The coach kept me on the phone for almost an hour talking about resources for trans athletes, people he knew who were trans athletes, etc. He made it very clear he would always make sure TN was safe and if anyone anywhere said anything negative, he would nip it in the bud.

What a GREAT call and a great way to end my day. Sometimes we run into advocates where we least expect it! 

smile emoti