My Pledge of Allegiance

My Pledge of Allegiance Photo credit: Donna Olmstead Photography.

I could feel my ears burning and my cheeks flush as I heard the announcers introduce the national anthem singer.

I prepared to kneel, acutely aware of the fact that I would be sticking out like a sore thumb, on the track, in front of internationally streamed media, representing my team.

But this is bigger than me.

This is bigger than you.

And it’s bigger than my coerced participation in standing to face a flag for the national anthem.

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport Photo credit: Joe Mac

“But what about derby?”

That question has been, without a doubt, the hardest question to figure out an answer to through all of this. And the one question for which I built my life around over the last 5 years, to not have to answer.

Sidelined: How roller derby pushes trans women out

Last fall, the WFTDA released what felt like a long overdue statement on gender, removing the hormonal requirement for transgender skaters. A lot of my friends were very excited about this. I was a little underwhelmed.

It’s not that I don’t like that particular gender statement (though I personally much prefer the MRDA non-discrimination policy because – humblebrag – I wrote it). A policy based on self-identification is essential. After all, for nearly any minimum standard of femininity you set, you could find a cis woman who doesn’t qualify.

Rather, I was underwhelmed because a change in policy does precious little for the transgender skaters I know – myself included.