Thursday, 4 November 2010

Major Announcment

To me it's major anyway, and no I'm not talking about Kevin Gregg's option.

This is, at a minimum, the most unexpected entry you'll ever read on this blog. I have debated for well over a year now whether or not I should ever write it, but the time has come to get off the fence and either do, or not do – so I've chosen to write it.

Many, if not all of you, are aware that early this year I was giving very serious consideration to closing up shop here. After the main part of the off-season activities were past, it seemed a reasonable time to make the break – especially given the end of the Halladay Era was an obvious transition point. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't because the results of the 2010 season have re-energized my enthusiasm for the Blue Jays' future. Nevertheless, the issue I had then remains, and so either that solution must still be applied, or another one instead.

I am not, at this point, really willing to just shut it down and walk away – although the eventual fallout might lead to that (I'm not expecting that but it's possible). I do not want to make assumptions about my friends and readers that would have been wrong and unfair to make. However, this is a tremendously difficult thing to do. It is something which seems, on the surface, to be antithetical to the whole culture of sports fandom.

You might ask why I feel it's important to do – without drifting too far afield from the theme and purpose of this blog, I can't even begin to answer that question – all I can say to it is that unless you have gone through this situation, you don't have a frame of reference to properly appreciate why it's important.

So – I beg your indulgence to humor me a bit as I take care of a bit of business which has nothing to do with the Jays, or with baseball, but which for my personal state of mind needs to be done.

I've been writing this blog for, if memory serves, some four seasons now (with some partners in the first year) and been a fixture around various Jays related message boards for some years before that. The subject I'm discussing tonight predates all that by decades, in fact, it predates the first time I ever saw a baseball game. But for various reasons which it would serve no purpose to go into here, I felt it necessary to repress and conceal that matter. Just over two years ago, I ceased to do that.


*DEEP BREATH!*







I am transsexual. For one full year now I have been living full time as a female and I have adopted the name Tammy.

I hope that I may continue to be a part of the ongoing virtual conversation about the Blue Jays (though I do understand that it is difficult for any acquaintance, no matter how “virtual” to make the mental adjustment) but even if I find that's no longer possible, I had to speak up. One of the things that comes from spending so much of your life hiding your true face is that you develop an obsessive distaste for masks of any sort. I'd rather risk rejection than be false in any sense – even a mostly anonymous on-line persona. It is my hope that my worries in that regard are unfounded.


We'll see how it goes.


(One note – if anyone wishes to offer comments or questions they'd rather not post in public, write me at thesouthpaw.blog@gmail.com and if you want to know more, ask for the address to my transition blog)

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know what you're talking about, keep it up

The Ack said...

I have a confession to make. I'm not really Jim Acker.

I enjoy your blog, delves into aspects of the Jays org not "covered" elsewhere.

I don't know you outside of the blogosphere, but like any acquaintance I'd hope that you're happy & content in life.

So keep it up.

Ian - BJH said...

This is probably the bravest/most courageous blog post I've ever seen. It takes real guts to post something like this, and for that I tip my cap to you.

Callum said...

Way to go! I'm proud to be associated with you through the Jays blogosphere and hope you continue to offer your own particular brand of insight.

Cal @ Mop-up Duty

Greg said...

So? Christina Kahrl is my favourite baseball writer. She wasn't always Christina.

Was it David Crosby who sang "Be yourself and you can free yourself"? Whoever it was got it just right.

I hope you find a lot less bigotry out there than you seem to be expecting, and are pleasantly surprised by how many people are supporting, or just don't care.

What's with the Miguel Olivo trade, by the way? Just picking up a cheap draft pick?

Patrick said...

I have always enjoyed your insights into the Jays minor league affiliates. Though it is difficult for a heterosexual farm boy from Saskatchewan to understand the decision . . . I applaud your courage in stating so. And I sincerely hope that you will continue on with a great and unique contribution to the Jays blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

Bravo for the courage to be authentic.

I have not been a reader of your blog for long but have enjoyed your insight so far.

Keep up with the do word and have the following video for your encouragement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTnDLRnXXH4

The Southpaw said...

@Greg - Actually, I just found out about Christina's story in the last month and it was her acceptance that gave me the last bit of courage to get on with this.

I wouldn't say I was EXPECTING rejection, but I've found that it's better to steel yourself for it and enjoy it's absence, than to blunder forward thinking it's not there and be blindsided.

Thank you all for your kindness!

re Olivo - Just taking it in it's very raw state, I LIKE it if for no other reason than it demonstrates a genius touch for thinking outside the box. He essentially just traded for a draft pick - BRILLIANT! I can't wait to see his next trick.

SP said...

Congratulations. I think that's the right word for this because it must be a huge load off your shoulders. Please never shut this blog down.

Christina said...

Tammy,

Rock on, being yourself is exactly what people should have to work with, in the virtual world as in the real, and the fact that, here, it happens to be about the Blue Jays just gives you something in common with a few people.

My two cents is that sports is a vehicle of acceptance, in no small part because it's something harmless and fun, something any of us can and do enjoy, something that those of us who choose to, invest some part of ourselves in. And doing that, you become that much more transparent to friends and strangers alike. And in some things and for some people, transparency is a very good thing indeed.


Christina Kahrl

The 5th Starter said...

Congratulations Tammy,

I selfishly want you to continue your brilliant work here on this site, but wholeheartedly understand that you have more important things to deal with.

I am completely floored by your honesty in such a public forum, and I wish you all the best going forward.

Good luck.

mathesond said...

The honesty and dedication you put forth in this blog is very obviously representative of your honesty with yourself. Congratulations on having the courage to be happy. And please, don't shut the blog down! I seldom post, but I check here almost every day

Chill said...

Tammy, I can't say anything here that hasn't been posted already. I'll just echo the sentiments already expressed and encourage you to keep up the solid work with the blog. You get me excited about dudes I know nothing about in high A ball. I'd miss that if you were to quit...though I would also understand.

Peace & Love

jerkstore said...

congratulations on your bravery you are a credit to the blog-o-sphere and to the human race.

jerkstore said...

congratulations on your bravery you are a credit to the blog-o-sphere and to the human race.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

I'm with everyone else, here. Please don't stop writing.

DJaysM said...

This doesn't change a thing! I love reading your blog and I will continue to do so! Congratulations on being able to come forward and be who you are, and not being afraid to tell anyone! I look forward to continued posts!!!

peter said...

Appreciate your courage in being honest. I also don't have much to say that hasn't been said by others here, but it leaves me pretty encouraged that so many people have responded warmly.

I also appreciate the blog and wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

What you just did was very brave.
Your dedication to the game is phenomenal. I have and continue to enjoy your blogs regardless. Keep up the good work.

Jon said...

Southpaw, I'm sorry for your years of private pain. But your happiness will never come as a result of this decision or discloser but it can come from knowing the God that died to heal your pain and sent his son for you. My prayer is that one day you will turn to Him for the salvation of your soul and heal your pain The world is only offering you a false hope in transsexual lifestyle or gender reassignment if that will be your next step.

I do wish you the best and your discloser doesn't change the fact I enjoy reading your thoughts

The Southpaw said...

WOW!

I'm overwhelmed by the response!

I can safely say my fears are allayed!!

You guys have made my month!

The Southpaw said...

@Jon

I want to respond to your post individually, and I hope I show as much grace as you did because I'm aware that their can be a negative blowback from interjecting a religious thought into this conversation.

This is only a limited forum for a proper response, i encourage you to go read my other blog for more extensive commentary on this train of thought:

http://betchadidntseethiscoming.blogspot.com/

Briefly then (as briefly as i ever say anything):

I want you to know that I am, in fact, a Christian believer, and have been since my youth. I am well aware of the teaching that God can heal this birth defect (he can do anything) and that he is willing to (which turns out not to be the case).

When I was in my 20's I committed my life to the idea that he would and set out to be "super-christian" in order to "do my part" and cried/prayed/pleaded for the next 20 years for him to come through with that healing.

At last I re-evaluated. Not my faith in god, but my belief in the teaching that God disapproved of people like me ...that this was sin...that he had any interest in "healing" it. Upon reflection, I find that these are the result of men disguising cultural opinions in the robes of "God said"

(I illustrate that at length in some of my posts over there)

As a result of my following that false teaching, I'm now in a situation where I'm causing unimaginable pain to the woman I married in the mean time. Because of that, I hope to speak when I can to educate my brothers and sisters to not buy in to that well-intended mistake.

I can say with all sincerity that, apart from my regret at my wife's pain, I have far more joy and peace and self-assurance...now than I had before I accepted myself and that I was not, after all, "sick" or "perverted" or any other such thing.

I appreciate your concern, and I ask in advance that no one else responding here think ill of you for your council - but I'm at peace with God concerning who and what I am, and I've found more happiness in accepting myself than in the mask that organized religion would have me wear.

peteypuck said...

Does this mean thet we can't post that J P Richardi is a pussy?
It's not even a small deal. Keep up the great work.

Jon said...

Southpaw

Thanks for your response. My intent is always to have my words seasoned with Grace. We do fundamentally disagree but that doesn't change the fact that my hope and prayer for you your wife and children? will find the peace to surpasses all understanding. As a pastor I wanted to share with you my hope of a life that beautiful, fulfilling and eternal

You obviously are a person of deep introspection and I wish happiness here and in eternity. I will check out the blog and speak with you there if you would allow me to do so.

blessings

Jon said...

Glad to see you have good friends that share a common faith. The Lord bless you as you discover the truth he is setting out before you.

By the way. Don't stop writing. Your number 2 on my list of baseball blogs to read.

All the best

The Southpaw said...

Respectful comments (such as yours) are of course welcome over there.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm somewhat new to your blog and have found it to be interesting and informative. Hopefully, you'll keep blogging.

By the way, my thoughts on the Olivo trade are similar to yours: AA is willing to pay $500,000 for a draft pick, but there might be more to it.

Nober said...

Anyone with Jimmy Key on the header of their blog has my respect.

End of story.

bkblades said...

While your admission of privacy transferred over to public knowledge, I have the benefit of commenting here with the bravery of anonymity. So for you to share an essential part of your life that isn't any of my business, thank you for allowing us to see you as a person and not just a writer. That's what matters here, and I hope to see you continue your writing, just as I continue reading fully respecting the person behind the words.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear from the comments posted that sexuality has no bearing on the the nature of the relationship you have with the baseball blogosphere. Those of us who read your posts are extremely fortunate to receive the information and opinions you share. I selfishly hope you will continue.

The 5th Starter said...

I have never been prouder to be a Jays fan than I am seeing all of this positive response.

Not that I want to stereotype, but I can't imagine you getting this response if you were a fan of a team in "the deep south"

Congratulations again, and I'm ecstatic that you've decided to keep posting

pete said...

You're a fun read South Paw. Also, you were right last week about the Kevin Gregg situation (where I was wrong). I'm not sure what your sexuality has to do with any of that, but I'm happy that you're happy. It's nice to see the sports world embracing difference more and more. (Even in hockey it seems via Mr. Burke.)

Anonymous said...

It makes no matter what you define yourself as, you are a Blue Jay fan and a well versed one at that. For the pruposes f doing this excellent job you do...that's all that mattters.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what your personal life is. I'm happy if you're happy, no big whoops there. Your blog is one of the top three on the Jays IMO with Tao and DJF. A few too many typos, but hey, that's the internet (he said, quickly perusing his own suspect text).

Keep it up SP. Love the blog.

Mylegacy said...

So Tammy some clean - are you actually a lefty?

Seriously, welcome to my team - the human race - of which you are a well respected, talented team player. Love your work. Keep it up!

Don't let no body come between you and who you are. You only live once sister - what the hell - why not do it as a blond.

My brother was "gay" - he died at 33 of aids, I was a Human Rights Officer here in BC - I've had the pleasure of working with, and trying to help, several transgendered folks here. However, none of them knew even 1% about my beloved Jays as you do. SO - keep the blog going sister - us Jay's fans have to stick together - end of story!

The Southpaw said...

Yes, I am in fact left-handed.

Anonymous said...

If a child is born without a leg, is it a sin to fit that child with a prosthetic? If a child is born deaf, are cochlear implants a false hope and a wrong approach to the silence of that child's life?

Gender dysphoria is no different. It is not a choice, anymore than being born deaf is a choice. Correcting it to ease the pain of someone whose body is 'wrong' is no more sinful than using medical science to correct any other 'wrongness' that we have the ability to correct-- if the person in question wants to be changed, of course (and not all do, for a whole host of reasons).

Anyone who believes a transition is inherently sinful simply does not understand. Speaking authoritatively from such a position of ignorance... well, now THAT might be sinful...