Changing the Game: A Review Part I
WORDS BY Phoenix Montoya @phoenix_montoya
Art for EL CHAMP by Galen Tipton @genderlessgenderfulgirl
It was difficult to contain my emotions as I watched this riveting documentary about transgender teens trying to navigate the world of high school sports and beyond. Being transgender myself, it hit really close to home. The film-makers did an excellent job of bringing the viewer in and making them feel close to the three main characters, Mack, Sarah, and Andraya. The cinematography captured the raw emotion of the families very well, which induced empathy and sympathy from the viewer.
Training for professional sports is difficult on its own, often consuming athletes’ lives both on and off season. But training for a professional sport while also undergoing medical transition is mind-blowing. Which is why it was angering to see the parents of cisgender kids acting like the transgender teens were trying to gain some type of advantage. They have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to come to terms with being transgender. To top that with all the training and hard work it takes to be an athlete is amazing. I give major kudos to Mack, Sarah and Andraya for persevering despite all the resistance.
“Tears welled in my eyes as I felt for Mack having to listen to the ignorance constantly berating him on the TV and radio.”
Regardless of how difficult the physical/biological aspect of transitioning can be, it can also take a toll on someone mentally. Tears welled in my eyes as I felt for Mack having to listen to the ignorance constantly berating him on the TV and radio. It makes me happy to know that his grandparents are so supportive of him. Being native Texans, and very religious, they are shining examples of how people can learn to be accepting. Yes, being transgender is hard to understand, and may conflict with some religious beliefs. But they put in the effort, they educated themselves, and they learned that their views and Mack’s identity could coexist. If more parents could be like them, maybe more transgender teens would make it to adulthood.