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Puget Sound Pronouns show that sports are for everyone

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Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Pronouns
Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Pronouns

Hello, SGN readers! I'm extremely excited to share the story of the Puget Sound Pronouns, an LGBTQIA+ softball team and 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to encouraging Trans and Nonbinary sports participation. We are honored to grace the SGN's pages and have their sponsorship for the 2023 season.

Being a Trans woman, I noticed that Queer spaces most often cater to Gay men and cis Lesbians. I'd found community in those spaces, but there was a need for something directly and unapologetically Trans-inclusive, and thus the Pronouns were born.

Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Pronouns  

Sports are often hypermasculine places that are hostile to our community. That often denies us the positive outcomes associated with sports: better grades, teamwork skills, and opportunities to build and nurture relationships. For Trans kids, their very right to participate is at risk around the country.

I came out as Trans in July of 2020, and my path is an example of why sports participation is so important. Sports led me out of the closet.

I joined the Emerald City Softball Association (ECSA), Seattle's Gay league, 12 years ago — at the time believing I was a cisgender straight man. The ECSA peeled away years of repression and introduced me to a community I didn't know I needed.

The league's yearly drag fundraiser provided my first opportunity to show my feminine self to the world, opening the door for me to ask and answer tough questions about my gender. Owing much of my coming out to the ECSA, I wanted to give back, expanding the league's reach with a team that is explicitly Trans-inclusive.

It's important that the Pronouns show that upper-division play is for everyone, not just Gay men with advanced athletic experience. (The ECSA divides its divisions by skill level, ranging from E for beginners, to A for advanced players.) We compete in the C Division, and demonstrated we belonged there immediately by winning both of our games in 2022, including a 11-1 romp over one of the teams that eventually represented the C Division for the ECSA at the Gay Softball World Series.

Community outreach is also at the core of our mission: had I seen positive Trans representation as a child, I wouldn't have put off coming out for over three decades. Last August, we held our first Youth Softball Skills Clinic, teaching kids softball skills while demonstrating that Trans and Nonbinary players can do anything their cis peers can. All of the event's proceeds were donated to Trans Lifeline. Had this event existed when I was young, I'd have shaved my denial beard off years ago.

Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Pronouns  

The Pronouns season runs from April 2 through June 10. The games are played at North SeaTac park — also the location of our second annual Youth Softball Skills Clinic on August 13. We welcome supporters to watch us represent the community with pride, sportsmanship, and passion. We can't wait to make the community proud again in 2023, on and off the field!

For more information about the team or ECSA events, email [email protected]