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Transgender Fighter Fallon Fox - A Pioneer, if a Reluctant One, in Mixed Martial Arts

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The New York Times
|
May 10, 2013

Fallon Fox climbed inside the steel cage, past the sign that read “The Beating Will Continue,” and onto a black mat. She followed right jabs with left hooks and kicks flung at imaginary kneecaps, safe, if only for a moment, from the questions and insults and the suffocating fame that descended overnight.

Inside the cage, Fox was free.

Outside, she was caged.

The past month had plunged Fox back into depression, after she became the first openly transgender athlete in mixed martial arts and the most prominent in a professional sport since the tennis player Renée Richards, in the 1970s. Fox did not control the timing of the revelation, which came in a Sports Illustrated article, and could not control the backlash that resulted, the harsh words from Hulk Hogan, the hate spewed by the fighter Matt Mitrione, the confusion voiced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s champion Ronda Rousey.

GLAAD has been working with Fallon Fox to elevate her story, and challenge the false claims against her fitness to compete as a transgender woman athlete.