I told my cricket coach I was trans. His response hit me for six
I steamed forward into the crease, released the ball from my hand, swung it and clipped the top of the wicket, sending the batter back to the pavilion (meaning I bowled him out, for people unfamiliar with cricket terminology!).
I was elated.
This is the confidence that my coach gives me, but his help extends off-field to me too – with his unwavering support for me as a transgender person.
I started playing cricket at the age of nine. It was a way to entertain myself, keep active, and socialise with friends. Most importantly, it always puts a smile on my face.
For a long time, cricket was something to keep me going. Having training on a Friday night with Tom was perfect because I knew that I had an hour after a hard week of school to blow off all the steam and enjoy a practice session with my friends.
On top of that, Tom asked me to volunteer to help him coach some younger cricketers at one of his summer cricket camps four years ago.
It was very daunting at first, but once I saw a child smiling after giving them advice, I was reminded of myself when I first started playing the game – it felt like I had come full circle. That is all it took for me to keep going with it.
Outside of cricket, growing up was tough because I always felt out of place whenever I was talking or spending time with other boys. The only times I would truly feel comfortable were conversations with girls that did not have anything to do with ‘guy stuff’.
It took me a while to understand why this was the case, until – towards the end of 2021 – I entered college and met a bunch of new people freely expressing who they truly are.
Of course, there were always questions lingering about who I really was from myself, my friends, colleagues, and family. This always played on the back of my mind, everything I did, who I naturally had a good relationship with, and who I was attracted to.
I knew there was something deeper scratching to get out, but couldn’t. Alongside that, I never liked the way I looked because it never felt like me.