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Big bad boxer to become a woman

He looks like any other buff boxer. He’s got massive shoulders, lean muscle and a bald head almost completely covered in tattoos. He looks tough, rugged, unquestionably masculine. In other words, it wouldn’t surprise you to find out that this man is a 44-year-old British boxer of more than 30 years. But what may surprise you about him is that he’s not planning on being this for much longer. In fact, he’s not planning to be any of this, well, all except the boxing part.


This man’s name is Rob Newbiggin and he just made it clear to the world recently that he plans to undergo a sex change operation. He also made it clear that he wishes to remain a strong part of boxing, just as a woman instead of a man…and also perhaps fight wearing pink boxing shorts instead of those black ones he used to fight with. (Okay. I added that last part. But you get the idea.)

After his last fight — as a man — on Aug. 14, Newbiggin will be known as Mercedes.

I’m sure you can imagine the reaction from his community. Shock. Amazement. Surprise. All fairly understandable from a man who spent so long as a decent boxer, especially one known for his masculinity. (Look him up on Google for yourself just to see those tattoos!)

On the other hand, you may or may not be able to imagine the reaction he received from his closest friends and acquaintances.

Complete and total rejection.

Newbiggin was quoted in a recent article on Daily News as saying, “[I] lost every friend I have ever had in the world in this town. My friends don’t want to know me. I’ve got people winding their windows down shouting abuse at me while I go for my run – that’s why we are having to relocate. I have to think about my kids.”

We’ve all heard stories about men or women wanting to become the opposite. Many of them claim they were born in the wrong body, that he or she had always been interested in things associated with the opposite sex, despite the genitalia he or she was born with.

In Newbiggin’s case, however, he was actually born an intersexual, which basically means that at the time of his birth, you couldn’t tell his sex either way.

In many of these cases, the doctor essentially chooses a gender role for the child, of course after consulting with the parents. The point of this is to try and make the life of the person a little easier. It would be rather difficult growing up not knowing which side of the fence you belonged, indeed, let alone the decision that would ultimately have to be made about what bathroom to use in public. The one with the body in the dress or the one with the body in the pants. Hmm.

I simply find it interesting just how much attention this story has received. A lot. And I have to ask, why?

Obviously, our country — and this world, really — is still standing on sticky moral ground when it comes to gender role issues. And when you allow this whole situation to boil down, it comes to this man and his own personal life.

Who, exactly, will this man be directly harming by going through with this procedure? His family? Not directly.

The answer is: no one but himself.

I also have strong personal beliefs in this area of social struggle, however, considering the fact that Newbiggin was born an intersexual, I think this case deserves some social leniency.

Society should never dictate the personal life of any single person. As long as what Newbiggin does isn’t directly harming anyone else, and as it appears, will only be improving his own quality of life, I don’t see why we have such a problem with it.

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