I used to live in the US. My parents moved there when I was nine years old, and we moved back just six years later. It was nice. I feel very, very glad I live in Colombia rather than the US, but I’m also grateful for the time I spent there.
Anyway. When we moved back I was just starting senior year, so I had to enrol in one of the very few schools in Colombia that teach 12th grade (people graduate after finishing 11th here.) The school was a very conservative flavour of Christian, which was not ideal for a young trans woman trying to figure out her identity, but I am also glad that I went there. I made valuable friendships, got a mostly good education (the Evolution section of biology class was… lacking, to say the least,) and ironically was exposed to Richard Dawkins, which would lead to my eventual atheism.
As well as it went overall, it started off terribly. On the first week of the term, we had a PE class in which we played Ultimate. I was enjoying myself, until two guys in the opposition team cheated in some way. I can’t remember what it was, but I very clearly remember what my reaction was. Despite the fact it was a relatively small piece of cheating, I got furious, and started shouting. I’m not sure exactly what I said, but I know part of it was a sarcastic comment about how great an example of a Christian school those two kids were providing.
I ended up in tears from how angry I was, and finally just abandoning the game completely. Not out of spite, but because I was so upset I knew I would only ruin the game for everyone else if I kept trying to play.
It was not the first time that happened, and it certainly wasn’t the last.
Like most people, I am defined by contradictions.
For example, I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, but I also have fairly loose morals.
My sense of right and wrong tells me that forcing a gay child into one of those “pray away the gay” camps is literal child abuse, and will leave me angry enough to literally commit murder in order to save a vulnerable kid from that fate.
My fairly loose morals means I have to think very rationally to keep myself from shoplifting a stick of gum from a store. There’s no instinctive drive telling me it’s wrong, or that I shouldn’t do it.
Coming back to sports, here is another contradiction:
As much as it makes me angry to see two idiots do something as insignificant as take three steps before throwing a frisbee rather than one, I don’t see a problem with things like grabbing someone’s shirt when defending a corner in football, or pushing a striker over if the ref is not watching.
See, that’s not cheating, that’s gamesmanship.
I know how ridiculous it sounds. I’m not going to try to defend myself there. It sounds hypocritical, and stupid, because it really is pretty hypocritical and stupid. Still, that’s the kind of person I am.
It’s annoying, too. I like the part of me that drives me to stand up for what I believe is right, but I hate that it also makes me be such a wet rag when it comes to games. As I mentioned previously, we’ve been playing a bunch of games in the training I’m undergoing at work right now, and they’ve mainly been super stressful for me.
For instance, today we were playing charades but some people kept guessing when it wasn’t their turn, and I ended up shouting at them to HUSH.
It was so awful and disrespectful I’m cringing now just thinking about it, but it happens all the time with me. It wasn’t even the only thing I did today. I remember saying something snappy at someone for talking loudly when another team was trying to guess, and feeling an intense urge to leave the room in anger and take the game with me.
It sucks. I don’t like being a jerk, I don’t enjoy being an arsehole, and I have no desire to continue driving people away because I take stupid activities too seriously.
It’s been years though, and I still can’t change it. Ugh.