Tuesday, December 18, 2012

GenderSpeak

When I lived in Florida from 1998-2000, I played on the Ladies Spirit Tour.

Well, a "different" / interesting thing was happening to one of the players.

I want to be politically correct and I am NOT making fun of anyone. I actually am very cognizant of the differences of people.

One of the females players on this regional ladies tour was transiting to a man.

When she started on the tour, she had long hair and looked kinda boyish, but then we found out through rumors that she was going through a sex change, and that she wanted to be a man.

I had no issue with this at all. She was doing what she felt she needed to do to feel comfortable with herself.

I would watch her go into the women's restroom for years and I wondered to myself, when would she start to go into the men's restroom?   And when will the females feel uncomfy she is in the women's restroom?

And that led me to think, at point can she no longer play on this women's tour?

If I was the TD, I would let her make that choice;  and watch her actions.  I know it sounds so silly and simply, but in my mind, once she no longer finally felt like a woman, and finally a man, I figured she would stop going into the women's restrooms.  It was kinda an unwritten test to see when she finally felt like a man.

Although, obviously she would let us know and then she was no longer allowed to play on the tour.  It was no secret anymore what she was trying to do.

Eventually she started to get facial hair and cut her hair shorter.   She always dressed more "manly" and so she never really wore girlie, frilly clothes anyway.

By the time I left FL, she hadn't completed her transition and was still playing on the tour.

I do not know what ever happened to her, as she wasn't a very good pool player so I never heard her name again.

People think being a TD is easy work - but sometimes we run across these type of issues that we must handle with professionalism and leadership.

This isn't the first time this has come up - a man became a woman in the late 80s and even played on the WPBA Tour for a while.  She lived in Texas and so I knew her personally.  She passed away but I never heard that her playing on the WPBA was an issue.  Anne Mayes also played on the Ladies Tour in Texas for many, many years and also became a cuemaker.


2 comments:

Faroe said...

This whole gender thing begs the issue: why is there sex descrimination in billiards? Billiards is possibly the most obvious semi-physical sport where one's sex should have nothing to do with competence. There is only the "physical" side of the sport to deal with here, because no one would dare argue that men are mentally more capable of playing billiards than women. No, the argument has to do with whether or not strength or power has any bearing on the sport. I would argue that there is virtually no difference between sexes in ability to break the rack. In fact, it becomes even more important to "control" the break and the cue ball rather than splatter the balls all over the table. The same argument goes for some of the other power strokes: draw, jump, multi-rail shots. I say women are just as capable as men. So why, then, are there men's and women's divisions? Furthermore, why are women given more generout handicaps when playing against men. I would ask women to stand up for equality and demand to play on an equal footing with men. Or, can someone make a good argument to keep 'em separated?

Mark Burns said...

I have a friend who transitioned from a man to a woman after high school. Though we went to the same school, I didn't know him then, only meeting her years later. I don't remember the specifics, but there was a point in the transition where she stopped living her life as a man and began living as a woman, including using women's restrooms. Believe it or not, she had to carry around a legal document stating that she was allowed to use the women's restroom, in case there was any confusion. She used to call it her "hall pass".

I remember going to her wedding and thinking, "if she was still a man, this would be illegal". Closed minds have really messed up this world.