06.05.2019

One punch at a time for transgender boxer's fight to compete

One punch at a time for transgender boxer's fight to compete (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Boxer Patricio Manuel was walking alone in his East Los Angeles neighborhood a few weeks ago after a training run when a police officer approached him and asked what he was doing.

As a black man, Manuel, 33, was used to extra scrutiny from the police. As a black transgender man, the first to compete in a professional boxing match, he was used to extra scrutiny period: He has encountered it regularly, he said, since he began a medical transition from a woman to a man six years ago.

“When I started passing as a man, I was passing as a black man,” he said Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium, after a symposium on LGBTQ athletes, sponsored by the 49ers and San Jose State’s Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change.

“Suddenly the world was treating me very differently,” he added. “Now I’m used to walking around being seen as a threat.”

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