The hatred that transgender people get all over them is painfully visible in sports

This piece should have been about the Putin documentary that was broadcast on Canvas on Sunday evening, Putin master of the game. Russian oligarchs and American ministers and French politicians (including French President Hollande) tell what drives Vladimir Putin: revenge. Revenge on the West that despises him. He is neither a strategist nor a chess player, he wages war as if he were playing black jack. Unpredictably ominous.

But just before I switched on the Belgian channel, I just caught up Studio Sport on that Feyenoord captain Orkun Kökçü had refused to wear the rainbow band. All Premier League captains would wear one this weekend for the annual National Coming Out Day. Small gesture, big effect. But the reverse is also true: such a band not putting it on immediately makes a huge statement. In any case, there were religious objections between Kokcü and the colored captaincy. Just put something in there.

With that in mind, I immediately packed up and went to changing the game watched (KRO-NCRV), a documentary about three American teenagers. They are top athletes and transgender. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’d watched runners, skiers and wrestlers struggle, literally, with their gender. Apparently, in sports, all the unfairness and emotion surrounding gender dysphoria coalesces. We see wrestler Mack from Texas, who would rather fight against men, but for the wrestling association his gender counts at birth, so he is obliged to work all women against the mat in the women’s competition. The hatred that will be poured over this child if he wins again. wow. Not from adolescents, but from adults who shout from the stands that ‘he is not a real he’ and that ‘it’ better ‘kill itself’.

Luckily he has a bad ass Granny, Republican, deputy sheriff in Dallas with tons of guns around her hips. No, she had never heard of transgender people until she had a grandchild who is one. She’s willing, she says, to step on a lot of Republican and religious toes to get Mack in the right place. How the world looks at her grandchild forces her to look at the world differently.

It started to look like a theme evening, because late in the evening the EO came with the first episode of a new series Do you know me? Micah (30) and Bram (58) are coupled together. Micah, formerly Marco, is a bi-gender person. “A non-binary transgender person who feels both male and female.” Bram is gender fluid. He is a married man who wants to dress as a woman.

Both have to go to great lengths to explain themselves to others. Micah and father Theo wash the campervan together, they go camping. Father Theo says honestly that he finds it uncomfortable to answer the camping owner with whom he will come later. “Do I say: with my son?” And then surely Micah gets out of the camper, in a dress? But once at that campsite, they ask each other questions that seem simple, but are difficult. Micah to father: “Why was I only allowed to change in my room in the past?” Father to Micah: “How did you feel when you got dressed.”

Micah was “accepted” by his church, and then he wasn’t. They wanted to pray for his healing. Bram was allowed to be after coming out continued to attend church, but he had to relinquish his spiritual duties. His brother Harry went in search of what the bible says about Bram’s ‘identity’. A man in women’s clothes is not the intention, is his preliminary conclusion.

Micah and Bram have no problem with God or their faith, they say. They care more about people. “The people of god”.

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