As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I was wrong. I stayed, launched my first company, Flipside Fitness, and then opened Korea's largest boxing club, Hulk's Boxing (now called Hulk's Club).

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again.

Now I live in the Philippines where I am the CEO and head coach of Empowered Clubhouse, the Philippines' first and only boxing clubhouse exclusively just for women. I also am the founder of the Lil' Sistas Project, CEO and designer of Slay Gear and Baa Baa Black Sheep .Ph.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Some Interesting Insight... Tuesday, October 3

I was invited out to a birthday party by my business partner, it was a chance for me to mingle, and at that party I was asked a very particular question by a very particular person.

This particular person was a transgender.

"Okay, so your business is a women-only clubhouse... what do you mean women-only?", they asked. 

The simple answer would be to simply say it's women-only as in for only women... dauh... but I know things are no longer black and white.  Times have changed and times are continually changing, I know this too.  What I didn't know though was the context, the situation, in which I was being asked this question.  

I responded by telling them, "my clubhouse is open to anyone who identifies themselves as a women", and they responded with giving me a smile and another person standing close by giving me a high five.

I wasn't sure of what had really just happened but then three others jumped in on the conversation.

There I was, standing in a cafe lounge surrounded with gorgeous women, several of them really curious about my business.  Looking at them and around at the other women, I joked and blurted out that "they all look like sex" -- skin tight jeans, dresses that hugged every inch of their body, tank tops that looked painted on, picture-perfect make-up, gorgeous trendy hair, and perky breasts.  I think I was the only one wearing a bra and even my bra was one of those sticker ones because of the cut of my top.  I totally felt not "sexified enough" in comparison.  I felt kind of like a little girl who had played around in their mom's closet and put on her clothes.

Turns out most of those women weren't naturally born women.  

I don't know if "naturally born" is quite appropriate, I mean, I don't want to offend anyone and I'm sorry if I have but this is so very new to me.  

The particular person who had asked me this one question was a transgender -- a tall Filipino with long dark hair who told me they used to do ballet and how they spotted me as soon as I walked in.  "I saw you", they said, "and I was like oh I want to know that girl... that girl is something."  They were super sweet to me and it only took a few sentences into our conversation before we were acting like long lost girl friends.  What was so interesting about my conversation with them was just how open they were about me asking them about being transgender.  They talked about being whatever you want to be but owning it and I respected that.  You can really be whomever and whatever you want to be but the key is to own it.  Too many people don't and I'm not talking about transgenders here but people in general.  Own who you are and be proud of it.  This particular person says they don't want to wear make-up because it's the expected thing for them to do.  Instead, they had a fresh face... and OWNED it!  

Transgenderness... is that even such a word?!... seems to be a big thing here in the Philippines and I didn't realize just how big it was until tonight, when I walked into what I was quite to assume was a packed lounge full of beautiful women and blue-balled men.  It was very cool to be able to talk to her and others about their situation and I really appreciated them being so open.  Of course it raises questions as to what do I mean my business is "women-only" but perhaps I hit the nail on the head with my initial answer -- anyone who self identifies themselves as a woman. 

If what I want my clubhouse to be and represent is a place that's free from discrimination, a place where women are free to be themselves and better themselves, then why wouldn't I allow transgenders?  To deny them, wouldn't that only be hypricritical of what my business goes against and what it stands for?! 

That question didn't actually question anything beyond making sure that what I believe in is what I'm actually building and standing for... and it is.  

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