A male California high school senior who played on the boys baseball team as a freshman will now play on the girls softball team.
The student, Pat Cordova-Goff, attends Azusa High School in the northeastern corner of the suburban sprawl of Los Angeles.
Cordova-Goff (who was also a cheerleader at some point) will be the California’s first transgender high school student-athlete, reports The San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The strapping, broad-shouldered, 5-foot-8 senior is able to play for the Azusa High Aztecs under a new state law commonly known as Assembly Bill 1266. The amendment to the state’s education code stipulates that each student will have access to facilities, sports teams, and programs that are “consistent with his or her gender identity,” rather than the student’s actual biological composition. (RELATED: Calif. governor signs transgender students’ rights bill)
Cordova-Goff, 17, was born a boy — and, by all accounts, remains a boy — but now identifies as a girl. He has undergone no surgical procedures or treatments.
“I can’t afford a wardrobe and makeup and everything, so I don’t have the resources to express myself the way I want to,” Cordova-Goff told the Valley Tribune. “I’m really pushing myself to be myself, and I finally have started going by ‘Pat,’ started using ‘she’ and ‘hers.’”
Under California Interscholastic Federation guidelines that took effect in September, that’s enough to allow Cordova-Goff to try out for and make the girls softball team.
Local high school softball coaches don’t seem too concerned about Cordova-Goff’s inclusion on the Azusa High softball team.
“There is no issue for me,” said West Covina softball coach Jesse Mendez said. “Could there be a competitive advantage? Sure, but softball is a pretty skillful game.”
The coach at Charter Oak High School, Scott Higuera, opined that rules are rules.
“I’m fine with it as long as it’s within the rules,” Higuera said. “The bottom line is, you have to play the game, and softball is very competitive.”