I will be the first to admit that going into my interview with MMA’s first transgender fighter Fallon Fox I was not sure what to think. There are a number of questions that come to mind and the answers aren’t easy to find, and they are even harder to comprehend. Does she benefit as a fighter from having once been a male? Is this something we should be thinking about making a part of the unified rules? Does she really have some monster sized hands that are going to severely injure a woman?
The way I look at it, there were three stages to go through mentally to really get to where I am at now about the whole scenario. The first stage was doubt; inwardly and openly I didn’t know how I felt about the whole scenario, I was on the fence and I knew for a fact that I needed to do some research before making a decision. Second came learning; I talked with Fallon extensively and learned about the woman, learned about her past, and learned about what she has gone through and still has to do on a day to day basis. Finally, I came to clarity and understanding, the full comprehension of all the factors that can be figured into the situation to come to a final result. This is where I’m supposed to urge you to think the way that I do and to not give me a talking point similar to Fox News or Joe Rogan, but I’m not going to.
I’ve never been the type of person to make broad judgments without learning all that is available to me to be absorbed mentally. In this case, before I had an opportunity to meet Fallon I was bombarded with opinions from well-known names in the MMA community and in the news community; it seemed I was preemptively not allowed to have my own opinion. This is a trend I have noticed across the entirety of the MMA community. I have had people on twitter lash out at me for following this story with respect, and even more tell me they will no longer follow me for being a source of information. But what most people are not recognizing about the backlash towards Fallon Fox is that a ton of it is rooted in prejudice and homophobia.
Pat Miletich, Joe Rogan, Matt Mitrione, and many others would have you believe that Fox is some sort of huge hulking monster of a woman. However, she stands at a very normal 5’6” and next to me looks incredibly small. Her hands don’t look like lunchboxes or sledge hammers, they are about the same size as my wife’s hands, who also stands about 5’6, and has very normal sized hands. Fallon does not have a booming male voice, but instead the voice of a very proud woman who is fighting for what she believes in and the sport that she loves.
So why is it that this woman who is biologically, mentally, physically, anatomically, and biophysically equal or in some cases at a disadvantage against her competition being flat out scorned with such hatred? The “science” you are seeing posted by Joe Rogan on twitter is certainly one reason, but the other is the fact that we live in a society that still doesn’t understand the transgender status.
Joe Rogan found quotes from an endocrinologist - and I read the article in full – and the one thing I noticed is that the most frequently used words when discussing what they knew were “probably” “possibly” and “could”. Is this really the kind of so-called scientific evidence that you want to let make the decision for you? Is the bigotry of a single group of individuals going to make you hate this woman for standing up and saying “This is who I am, and this is what I love to do”? We all know that Rogan is a comedian, we all know that Matt Mitrione is a moron, and most of us agree that Fox News is not the most accurate place to receive our news, so why is it that so many people are being swayed by this nonsense? I have sat and talked to this woman, I have heard her story word for word from her very own mouth, and it absolutely makes me sick to my stomach the way people continue to speak about her. She’s not trying to hurt anyone; she is just trying to follow her dream.
She has lower testosterone than the average 37 year old woman; in fact she barely has half of it. Her skeletal structure has changed drastically since her gender reassignment surgery and the bone density has changed so dramatically that her chances of having severe issues with osteoporosis are nearly quadruple those of a born female. Her weight displacement is thrown off massively by the hormone imbalances inside of her body, so cutting weight is even harder for her than it is for the average female fighter in her weight class. In fact, she has been outsized by nearly every opponent she has fought both amateur and professional. This is not a man, this is a woman through and through, and more of the MMA community needs to put their head in a book to understand what’s really going on here. I’m not saying anyone is stupid, I am sincerely saying that they are just being educated by the wrong sources, aren’t educated on the subject at all.
I am in the process of speaking back and forth with Dr. Marci Bowers, who is one of the foremost specialists in the world on transgender people, and what I have learned so far is this: what most people are saying is not just partially wrong, it’s entirely wrong. If you want to unfollow me on twitter for believing that Fallon Fox should be allowed to fight, that’s fine, it is your right to have an opinion, but you should at least educate yourself before you make hateful statements about a woman you don’t even know. You should not be starting trends in hatred when you do not know as much as you possibly could about a subject. I would happily call out Matt Mitrione, Joe Rogan, Stephen Cowder or anyone else who has come forward with so-called evidence or been outwardly ignorant about the situation to a debate in half of a heartbeat.
I feel very comfortable that I know the entire situation fact for fact and piece for piece and am entirely sure that it is wrong that Fallon Fox is facing such unnecessary trials to be able to fight.
Sure, she was once a man physically, but mentally she never has been. She never woke up and felt right in her skin, nor was she some hulking beast like Brock Lesnar. She began training years after her surgery, she didn’t walk into the surgeon’s office and go “I want to kick women’s asses – make me one.” She was a woman trapped in a man’s body who was freed from it; her life finally became what it was always meant to be – that of a woman. So before you judge this, get to know her, educate yourself and continue to keep an open mind.