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Dr. Boxer

My name is Diana. I’m forty-one years old, very feminine, 1.72 m (5 feet 7.7 inches) tall, weigh 63 kg (138.9 lbs), am a brunette with blue eyes and I live in northwestern Italy. I’m an M2F TG person (under hormone treatment but not undergoing sex reassignment surgery) and I’ve been living and working as a woman for many years. While Italy allows sex reassignment, it does not allocate legal transgendered “status” as in other European countries such as Germany or the Netherlands.

I’m an M.D., specializing in Medical Psychology, Anesthesiology, and Intensive Care Medicine. I work in a public hospital as an Anesthetist. I’m also a member of ARCITRANS (site is only available in Italian), the Italian political and self help organization of TS & TG people.

Diana (left) boxes Alexia
Diana, on the left, boxes Alexia in an exhibition “foxy boxing” match

I have a black belt in Judo, and train both in Judo and in Thai boxing. I teach both of these as well as basic self-defense, and self-defense psychology in my women-only judo and Thai boxing gym. I have a free training room from the Town Municipality, since my classes are considered “Positive Actions for Women.”

My transgenderism goes back to my early childhood. When I was three years old, I knew that there were boys, and there were girls, but I was something between them. But it seemed to be impossible and useless to explain this, because they couldn’t understand! I didn’t know anything about transsexualism but I grew up suffering from my exclusion from the world of girls. The girls I did identify with tended to be tomboys: they ran, climbed trees and rocks, swam, and fought. They were assertive, competitive people. I did love high heels and skirts but particularly when they were worn by women professionals, pilots, officers, doctors, and boxers. I loved Amazons of every time and place.

While I was dreaming of and trying to become a woman, I did really become a doctor. I served in the Army at first, and in the National Fire Service, then as a Medical Officer. I had learned amateur boxing as a male for some years in the University, but it has been as a woman, after my transition to female, that I have become a judo black belt. Even though non-operative, I am happy to say that they considered me a woman in the graduation exam. Afterward, I trained also in shotokan karate for three years, and then I become a jiu jitsu teacher. I have also been contacted to assist in developing the screenplay of a movie (to be directed by Nan Goldin) about Parinya Kiatbusaba, the best known Thai transgendered boxer.

The boxing ring is the place where I feel most accepted as a woman by women.

I am very feminine-looking and I have a really feminine voice, so no one realized I was a TG person, even when I entered a female boxing ring! I currently do train, both in judo and boxing, with women of my size but still having my documents as a male I cannot officially box or wrestle as a woman. Even for the gay Eurogames I have not been allowed to kick-box officially as a woman. I have been told that according to my documents, in a gay sport event, I must be considered a male kick boxer! However, I do box or wrestle in public with women opponents just as an “exhibition” from time to time.

Since the time I realized that many women did love to box, I have learned a lot of things. I learned that that what prevents women-and for me as transgendered-from boxing is the fear of aesthetic injuries. I learnt that ten-ounce, big, soft, harmless gloves, especially designed for amateur women boxers, have opened the doors of boxing to women.

My experience of boxing is as a woman, and as a result, I share the perspective of other women boxers. Men box “against” one another. Women, in contrast, box “with” one another. Men push themselves in the ring to the extreme borderline of criminal law. Women, if they are not forced to, keep themselves far from the threshold of physical and aesthetic injuries. Boxing for men is a duel; for women, it’s play. As a transgendered woman, my experience and perspective has been the same as genetic women.

I learned that boxing is not a male-only sport but can be a female sport too! But I can say something more: the place where I have found women more at ease in dealing with me as a TG has been the boxing ring. I believe that boxing is the most equitable situation in which a biological female and a M2F can meet: one facing the other, with the same emotions and reactions, with no historical debit or credit, no social roles, no social status, no sexual roles. The boxing ring is the place where I feel most accepted as a woman by women.

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