This is a guest editorial by Fallon Fox.
It's been almost a year since Joe Rogan first went on his rant where he said some of the most awful things about yours truly. People have asked me why I never responded back then to what he said. The answer? The world was wrongfully caving in on me, many of his fans attacked my social media repeating much of the hurtful rhetoric and misinformation that Joe said on the air. I was simply not feeling up to responding at that time. I also thought it might be possible that he would correct himself on a long enough timeline. I figured that maybe those around him might help see him through all that. It's been a while. That hasn't happened. So, I've created the Fallon Fox VS Joe Rogan and friends YouTube video as a starting point to begin my public counter of this ignorance and transphobia that - in my opinion - he had a great deal of influence promoting within the MMA consciousness.
Coming out publicly can take a lot out of you. It can really mess with your head when it does - especially when things like what Rogan are said. I'm mentally tough, I can take jokes, I've got a great sense of humor, I can handle the spotlight. However, nobody in the history of humanity has had to deal with coming out as a transgender woman who fights pro MMA. And when it comes to being able to keep it together mentally in the spotlight, that's an unprecedented extenuating circumstance to have to deal with.
I do not think that given the current state of transphobia it is even possible to walk away emotionally and mentally unscathed during those first months of revealing because of the actions of others. Transgender women outside of the public eye commit suicide all of the time after coming out because of depression from the sheer volume of people who cut them down simply for existing. Fortunately, I could deal. But, it was hell, my friends. A hell that I'd only wish on Joe Rogan himself. But, only temporarily, and only so that he could experience how it feels.
I barely squeaked by when it all went down. Honestly, sincerely, I contemplated - even made plans to kill myself. I think that no matter how mentally tough you are, nothing can fully prepare one for coming out as trans on such a public stage regardless of preparation. That's human. I think that's to be expected given the mental bludgeoning that we must constantly endure when people verbally attack us in far greater frequency than almost every other classification of human that I can think of, and having to deal with segments of society that actually stand by and laugh when it happens. Not to mention that often, a trans persons job may be in jeopardy for simply being who they are. Not to mention constantly hearing, "You're the one who decided to be transgender." As if transgender women are actually people with mental identities of men who, "decided" to think another way, and play one gigantic game of house... for the rest of our lives.
In my opinion, that last bit is what hinders greater understanding. Being transgender is not a game to us, not acting out, not an attempt to be "weird". Being a transgender woman is an immutable state. That state exists before any hormones, surgeries, or anything else has been even considered. It's like that from childhood. We actually experience ourselves as the opposite 'gender' of the 'sex' we were born. So, we are compelled to transition for our own sanity. Nothing more. This is backed by psychologists, listed as such by the American Psychiatric Association, and is in college text books around the globe. It is a fact that shouldn't be too hard of a concept to grasp. But, because of people's long held biases and irrational beliefs, in some cases it is. We shouldn't have to deal with negativity over it. Yet we do, and it can be terrifying.
I realize that it's likely Joe Rogan and friends may have been confused in the beginning, and may not have understood the psychology of all this. I also realize that Joe Rogan and friends likely have been confused about what happens to a transgender woman's body in transition relating to sport. But, I'm not going to get into the bogus "transgender women have unfair advantages" stuff right now in the video attached to this editorial. I am planning on releasing another video that I have standing by in the coming weeks which covers my opinions of Rogan's bogus advantage claims.
This particular video is my opinion on how incredibly insensitive I've seen and experienced Joe Rogan being over what I see as my simply existing as a transgender woman. This is my opinion about what I see as his failure to understand that calling transgender people "tranny" is NOT ok. This is about my opinion of what I see as blatant misogyny and transphobia.
I still get some MMA fans contacting me saying something along the lines of, "Joe Rogan said_______. You tranny!". "Saw you on Joe Rogan's show. He's right, you are a man!" "The surgery doesn't take away your bone density! You tranny! Joe Rogan said so!". All of that would just be whispers in my ear if it wasn't for people contacting me saying that they want to create a petition to give to - who knows? - to try to keep me from doing my job, and throwing some of Joe Rogans bogus arguments and slurs at me when they do. It wouldn't bother me that much if what he's putting out there was not affecting my career. In my opinion he is the instigator of much of the unwarranted animosity thrown my way by many MMA fans. In my opinion he is spreading misinformation about my body in relation to my job.
Perhaps I would have not said anything ever. But, it's been almost a year and I haven't heard a retraction, or any kind of public apology. He could do so and that would be really - really nice. He has the chance to clear all of this up and not look like such a jerk. He has a podcast that he runs which reaches the ears of millions. But, he does happen to do commentary on UFC fights. And my opinion is that correcting what he has said would look good for the UFC and others who work with Joe Rogan. It's highly probable that the UFC as an organization - along with other entities that work with him - may not necessarily hold the exact same stance as Rogan?
If I were to ever be signed with the UFC, having Rogan as a commentator during my fight would be... awkward to say the least. I'm a viable female fighter. In my opinion, from my personal perspective, what Joe Rogan has said amounts to some kind of public harassment. Im looking to try to make it on a UFC show. But, I have to deal with someone who works with that show being publicly transphobic. If Rogan were to say racist comments I would feel the same way, if he were to say homophobic comments same thing. I think that's understandable.
Since I've come out, Joe Rogan continues to spread incorrect information on transgender athletes. Much of this goes against the consensus of the medical community and the commissions that license me to fight. I see no end to this from him in sight. In one of his more recent podcast he said, "But the big difference is the mechanical advantage of the male frame. You don’t find a female with super wide shoulders, narrow waist and the same size hips and the same shape hips as a man and when you have that kind of body you can just generate more force." I still haven't heard what this claim is based on other than his bias and guessing. How does that work exactly? If it were such a thing I would get licensed.
He has influence with MMA fans. So, I am forced to focus on Rogan and his arguments now, and will continue to do so for several weeks - or as long as it takes. Like I said, I shouldn't have to do this. But, I feel compelled to do so in order to try to stop this nonsense if I am to attempt to fight in the future for the promotion for which he is a commentator.
It's been a while now since I've come out. My mind needed some time to acclimate to all of this which has made my MMA game a lot tighter lately. And fighting back politically makes me feel even better. It's tragic really for Joe Rogan and those people who side with him. All of this 'being corrected' can just be avoided by him apologizing and correcting the misinformation. That would really make my day.
There's more to come from me on this topic. Stay tuned.