"Keala came out as a transgender woman in 2018 and has been open about her experiences as a trans woman in the surfing industry."
Regular readers of BeachGrit will know the soft spot held for our brothers who for whatever reason, kink or genetic hiccup, make the ultimate switcharoo from guy to gal.
Very inspirational, and I mean it ‘cause I like my trannies, the elfin faces, the flashy sexpot outfits, the way they like to catch ‘emselves in reflections so they can admire their irresistible new visions, the service pistol tucked between legs, sometimes operable, sometimes no.
And, though we loathe disagreeing with the icons of our sport, in the instance of transgender surfers we side with the World Surf League and welcome the inclusion of she-dick in the women’s surfing division.
Of course, there ain’t a lot of transgender surfers out there, at least on a competitive level.
The most famous is the Australian logger Sasha Jane Lowerson, who cut a swathe through the women’s div last year becoming the first surfer in history to win both the men’s and women’s division.
“To be the first trans woman competing in surfing hasn’t been an easy ride emotionally but the amount of support I’ve been showed has been phenomenal and I’m so grateful to be involved, welcomed and embraced within the longboard community in Australia,” said the forty-four-year-old strawberry blonde who has ridden “stupidly big Waimea” and who won the male division of the WA longboard titles in 2019 as Ryan Egan.
Surfing’s reactionary core was laid bare shortly after when Momentum Generation funnyman and Kelly Slater bandmate Peter King waded into the trans-athlete imbroglio saying,
“Stay out of women’s sports where you miraculously win after being an average performing man. Women’s sports is not a backup plan where you can’t win a trophy (And $) in the men’s division. Leagues like WSL and sponsors like Red Bull will you now stand up to this now instead of harming women’s sports?”
Kelly Slater added, “Make a trans division and we don’t have this confusion.”
Now, artificial intelligence showpiece ChatGPT has been laid bare as primitive and untrustworthy after it was faced with the simple question, “Who are some famous transgender surfers?”
The AI bot replied,
While there are not many well-known transgender surfers, there are a few notable figures in the surfing community who are transgender or non-binary.
One of the most well-known transgender surfers is Keala Kennelly, a professional surfer from Hawaii. Keala came out as a transgender woman in 2018 and has been open about her experiences as a trans woman in the surfing industry. She is a big wave surfer and has won several awards for her surfing skills.
Another notable transgender surfer is Tia Blanco, a professional surfer from Puerto Rico. Tia is a non-binary surfer who has competed in the World Surf League and has won several national and international surfing competitions.
In addition, there are many other transgender and non-binary surfers who may not be as well-known but are actively participating in the sport and advocating for greater inclusivity and acceptance in the surfing community.
Star of television flop The Ultimate Surfer, Puerto Rican-born Filipino-American Tia Blanco is as binary as they come, recently announcing she was pregnant with the baby of the TV personality Brody Jenner, son of, and here’s the irony or maybe the bit that tripped up AI, Caitlyn Jenner, once Bruce Jenner, Olympian etc.
KK, a former world number two surfer turned DJ and actor, is “openly lesbian” as they used to say, but ain’t on the transition train.
“I had just all this internalized homophobia and self-hatred for being gay,” Kennelly said. “I was living this double life because on tour, I was pretending to be straight. I’m just a really honest person, I’m a really genuine, authentic person. So, to feel like I was living this lie was just crushing my soul and after so many years of that, it was just, “I can’t do this anymore, this is actually going to kill me if I can’t live my truth.” It got to a point where I didn’t care what the cost was, I couldn’t live like this.”
Kennelly says that it was “not okay to be a lesbian” and that if you did prefer shaved babylike snatches to rock-and-cock Tom Selleck lookalikes it was “career suicide.”
“So when I got on the tour, I was so freaking nervous because I inherently knew I was gay. So, I was absolutely terrified and I spent the majority of my time on the pro circuit in the closet and just completely terrified to come out — completely terrified to get outed, that I was going to lose my sponsors.”
In 2005, when Kennelly, aged twenty-seven, eventually came out she “faced a wave of homophobia from companies and other surfers that eventually led her to leave the sport… I actually quit the tour shortly after I came out because I couldn’t handle mentally and emotionally what that was like. Then I had a few sponsors drop me and so, that was just more confirmation that it wasn’t okay. I left the tour because, emotionally and mentally, I just couldn’t handle it.”