EUGENE, Ore. - The Lane County Concussions are gearing up for another season of men’s roller derby with a new member, A.J. “Pac’n Man” Spencer.
Spencer is the first member of the men’s roller derby team who is a transgender player.
Spencer was hoping to take part in a team sport and had been a fan of women’s roller derby for years.
“I have skated in the parks on the same kind of skates for about two years, and I love to learn to do new things on my skates, and this is just another thing I can do on my skates,” said Spencer.
Spencer decided this past summer he would reach out to the men’s team and see if they would allow him to join.
“I still had the features of a woman but the other players said they had no problems with me playing,” said Spencer.
Spencer has been going through hormone therapy for over three months and is now experiencing physical changes.
“I’m starting to have the voice change, gaining some muscle mass and getting some wimpy scruff on my face,” said Spencer.
Spencer had never played in any team sports until now but is extremely happy with the way things are going.
“I never played sports, so it feels really good to be out there with all of them because the closest experience to this is when I was a Girl Scout for 3 years but that’s really not the same thing,” said Spencer.
Along with the physical identity, Spencer is also benefiting with gender identity.
“Being close to a team like that and being physically comfortable pulling off these crazy dangerous things on wheels and at the end, win or lose, you’re sweating, you’re tired, and all the guys around you feel the same. It’s an accomplishment,” said Spencer.
The first Lane County Concussion is on March 30 at the Willamalane Center in Springfield at 2:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the Lane County Concussion Facebook page.