First Transgender Boxer to Compete As Woman Then Man Will Make Professional Debut This Year


First Transgender Boxer to Compete As Woman Then Man Will Make Professional Debut This Year

Earlier this month, the LA Times had a great feature on Pat Manuel, the first trans-boxer to compete as a woman and then a man. The 32 year-old Manuel is a five-time amateur boxing champion who’s set to make his professional debut later this year. Manuel told the Times’ Kevin Baxter:

“I still have split seconds of not recognizing myself. But for the most part, I feel more comfortable than I ever have in my body. It never crossed my mind to give up. It has absolutely been worth this journey to live publicly as my true self…

I’m a masculine person but I don’t want to be a man necessarily. I want to be, I guess, free of those binds. But because we live in a world where it’s male or female, I have to shift over. … I want to be able to compete with males… The toughest part of transitioning has been having pre-set matches inexplicably fall out. Vic and I have gone to shows and watched opponents leave without explanation moments after a fight was made official…

It’s hard to describe if you’ve never been so uncomfortable in your own skin. It’s like I’m finally living my truth. For a long time I forced a narrative that I didn’t really believe just because I didn’t feel I had another way around it…  Now I’m finally myself. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin, comfortable here, comfortable with myself.”

For more information on Pat Manuel, you can check out these profiles on Manuel from LA Weekly in 2015 and 2016.
[Photo via Youtube]