Azusa High School’s Patrick Cordova-Goff, the state’s first transgender student athlete, attends first practice with the Aztecs softball team

Photo Gallery of Azusa softball practice

patgoffBy Fred J. Robledo
Normally the first day of practice isn’t a big deal, but at Azusa High School, it was a groundbreaking moment as senior Patrick Cordova-Goff, the state’s first transgender student-athlete, attended her first practice with the Aztecs softball team after learning last week she made the varsity team following tryouts.

Cordova-Goff, who was born male, but identifies herself a female, took fly balls and played briefly at third base during the nearly two-hour practice on Tuesday.

New rules that went into effect for the 2013-2014 sports season state that students can participate in CIF-State activities “in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records.”

Cordova-Goff, who also ran for homecoming queen and was a member of the school’s cheer squad, tried out for softball because of a new law that began in January written by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano — Assembly Bill 1266 — that states all schools in California have to allow students to participate in school activities — including athletic teams and competitions — and use facilities consistent with the gender identity with which the student identifies.

“That’s why when California passed A.B. 1266, I knew I would play softball,” Cordova-Goff said last week, referring to the amendment to the state Education Code prohibiting public schools from discriminating on the basis of gender issues. “At first, I was kind of nervous because I thought maybe I lost my talent, but it felt natural. And I think because I played for so long, and I loved the sport, it was like I was back where I belonged.”

Cordova-Goff said she has a softball background and that she didn’t try out to make a statement to anyone but herself. Listed at 5-foot-8, Cordova-Goff played on the Aztecs’ freshman baseball team but quit toward the end of the season because she admittedly didn’t “fit in.”

“I know that I tried out for softball strictly because I know I loved the sport, and that’s what my family revolves around,” she said last week. “I tried out just for me; it wasn’t to change the world.”

Azusa High principal Ramiro Rubalcaba closed practice to the media, asking reporters attending Tuesday’s practice to take photo’s and video from the street adjacent to the softball field.

Rubalcaba said coach Lisa Montes has been instructed not to speak with the media and would prefer players be interviewed with parental consent.

However, Rubalcaba took questions and explained the challenges that lie ahead with the state’s first transgender student athlete.

“We’re going to continue to operate like we always operate,” Rubalcaba said. “We’re going to put a few things in place in order to really raise awareness and talk about diversity and how to embrace it as a community.

“We’re reaching out to outside agencies that can help us, have conversations with the students and the community so that everybody takes this as an opportunity to learn and opportunity to grow.”

There has been mixed reactions on twitter, blogs and other social platforms whether a person born a male has a competitive advantage over females, and whether a male should compete against females in an all-female sport.

“I’ve read some of the blogs and the stories out there,” Rubalcaba said. “From our community there hasn’t been any concerns regarding an unfair advantage. Some of the articles out there from other coaches of other schools didn’t really express any concerns. Softball like any sport is competitive and you’re going to have students with more abilities than others.”

Other concerns is how Cordova-Goff will be accepted by her teammates, coaching staff and parents of players on the team. And how will opposing teams and players feel about competing against a transgender student athlete?

During Tuesday’s practice, everyone seemed to get along like a normal softball team.

“We’ve sat down with parents and talked about some of the logistical things they’re concerned about,” Rubalcaba said. “We’ve sat down with every parent that has come to my office. We’ve made some decisions for anyone who feels uncomfortable to feel comfortable and with the arrangements that we’ve made, everyone seems to be just fine.”

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  • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

    Mr Libero, how many girls that identify themselves as boys are trying to play on their schools baseball teams? wondering minds need to know…

    • FredJ

      I believe girls can play on a baseball team if they’re good enough. Wasn’t there a pitcher in the Whittier area who also appeared briefly in the minors?

      • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

        Fred J…that was your boy Roger Murray , he loved Ilya Borders…she pitched for an independent league team(no major league affiliation) basically a sideshow and even there she was…terrible and as far as high school, I believe she didn’t play…mainly rec ball teams in the summer. Sadly, this”kid” seems destined to be a circus sideshow too!Stacey Neuveman could have played, but only as a DH in my opinion, she had no wheels even then.

        • FredJ

          I’m impressed, couldn’t think of the girls name and anyone who brings up Roger Murray is alright with me

          • Tommy L

            Borders wasn’t very good. She pitched a season or 2 with the Colorado Silverbullets. Not sure if anyone remembers but it was sorta like a club team composed of all women. They hardly won any games. It’s sad that this kid is putting on a circus and attracting all the attention and taking away from the “girls”. Its as if all the homecoming queen attention wasn’t enough.

          • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

            previously she pitched in an independent league, I believe it was for the team partially owned by comedian Bill Murray and she was a sideshow there too….just terrible…a shame

          • New York

            I had my highest batting and slugging percentage playing senior colt for Roger Murray. He helped me simplify my swing, and I did quite well.

      • AMAT 73

        Fred J,
        Did you happen to go to the practice yesterday ? If so how would you rate Pat’s playing skills . Or if not do you plan on attending a practice soon ? Would like to hear what you think about how Pat performs on the field . Also it was written in the first thread that Pat played all his early years up until freshman ball with boys when he felt uneasy and stopped playing . Do you think that will give him an advantage over the other girls ?

        • FredJ

          I watched the entire practice yesterday of Pat in the outfield and at third. I don’t know how she bats, but from a fielding perspective, she was OK. There were others more seasoned and polished. Maybe she was nervous, I’m not sure, but I left with the impression that she’s probably not a starter and not sure how much playing time she will get. I’m curious as to how coach Lisa Montes will use her during the season and I’m still disappointed the school district won’t let Montes talk about the team or what she feels Pat’s role on the team will be.

          • cusin vini

            hey Fred let me ask you one question if you were a coach and you cut a player from the team and the district overruled your decision and put that player on the team what would you do during the season play him or not let me know I’m curious of what you would do as a coach

          • New York

            Better yet, Freddy. A journalist should write a major article criticizing the district for overruling a coach, if that is in fact what happened.

          • cusin vini

            one more thing when the question was asked to other schools of a transgender playing softball it was asked to schools that azusa does not play.. why don’t you ask any of the schools that we are going to play to see what they say

          • New York

            Groundbreaking, Freddy? It seems groundbreaking that a coach would use a roster spot for a senior who is not even projected as a starter! You are a sports journalist. You should write about that aspect of it as well. Reserve spots on the roster are typically utilized to develop players of the future. In this case, Patrick, who is a senior, is projected to be on the bench (by your observation). What good does that do for building the program?

  • RedryderBlue

    Still watching this unfold, still don’t agree, not hating, just my opinion

  • JoeyPerez

    disguesting

  • Bumoto Yo

    Shame, Shame, Shame – here we have a male taking the spotlight away from the girls in their own sport. Is this going to be your focus for the season, Fred? If so, time to cancel my subscription.

    • FredJ

      Well, you keep posting on all the related threads, hence, the interest. I’ll cover this story because one, it’s historic, and two, because it generated more views than any other story on our page today.

    • AlliVonWetzel

      Shame you are so uneducated that you do not realize when someone is born transgender they are not some drag queen it is a legitimate medical condition where this is a girl. Also hormones are the only thing that determine our femininity or masculinity therefore if she took them early it would have rendered her equally as strong as the other females on the team. Why don’t you read up on it before you post your bullshit opinion. Thanks

      • Tan K Solot

        His/her hormones look masculine. That must be an even more bizarre medical condition. I think it’s what’s between the legs that determines gender.
        Did you take science from M. Schuster?

        • AlliVonWetzel

          Lol Actually I personally work with world renowned doctors studying this condition. Much more happens to those organs as well but I wont try to confuse your small mind. Its bigger than High school. From the looks of it you never left so enjoy the glory days and your limited views.

          • Tan K Solot

            World renowned doctors? Oooo. I think I’ll stay confused, or is it not confused. This is so confusing. Good thing there’s geniuses like you out there.

          • AlliVonWetzel

            I am not trying to say I am a genius I am just willing to accept medical data unlike other people who continue to ignorantly bash a person based on no information. I am checking out of this thread. I do not even know why I bothered . LOL

          • JoeyPerez

            Typical response…. you’re full it and are one sick person

  • Tan K Solot

    Aztec Pride has now become Aztec Embarrassed. How is this fair to anyone?

    • AZTEC PRIDE

      LOL…That was funny!

      • Tommy L

        Gives all new meaning to the term “Azucia” Lol

    • AlliVonWetzel

      I am more embarrassed by the bigots on this thread than my home town at this moment. My old high school has made me proud. The blatant ignorance here however makes me sad and utterly disappointed.

      • Tan K Solot

        Bigots? Yeah, I guess I should come out today as a bigot – a sick and tired of the BS bigot.

        • AlliVonWetzel

          BS? Lol . I am so over trying to school adults on how to behave. You will ultimately believe what you will so , so be it. Just know medically your wrong. Tah tah now. Also I think it is sad when an adult needs to slander and tear down a child. However thats between you and god.

          • ftblcoachg

            Bro please do not bring “God” (not god) into this threat. Why don’t you keep your small minded comments about how you believe that a human born a “BOY” (the doctor pulled HIM out of HIS mom) could be born with a medical condition. Yeah that medical condition is called a choice. And if this kids had a medical condition why did he play Baseball as a 9th grader. Hmmmm, Yeah, he all of a sudden didn’t have a medical condition then. So it’s ok to argue your point but please do not bring “God” (not god)…But if you want to get into a bible discussion we can do that to…Is there a medical condition for that too…

          • JoeyPerez

            No ones tearing him down. Good for him that he found himself but that doesn’t mean he should play on the girls team. please stay on topic and dont make this about some other bs

      • JoeyPerez

        You’re such a fool…. How can you justify a man playing on a girls team. Its not rocket science. He has a penis that makes him a man. No grey area here

  • SGV 4 30 Years

    Fred, that young ladies name was Ila Borders. The difference was that she played baseball and pitched the entire time she was growing up. It’s not the something. This player was good enough to make the boys team. The bigger picture is that the Coach isn’t picking his own team. As a coach shouldn’t I get to choose who plays for me?

  • AlliVonWetzel

    For all of you who are obviously closed minded and living under a rock a girl has played high school boys football. Not new. Also gender identity dysphoria is a legit medical condition when a child is born into the wrong body. I am proud of my home town being accepting enough and educated enough to know that this is a legitimate condition. Also I think it is disgusting so called adults are calling a child names. How about you go do adult things and I dunno focus on your own life. Or you probably don’t have one if you only thing you have to do is leave derogatory commentary on a girls softball article. Why don’t you do a broader search on transgender people playing sports and educate yourself. Also educate yourself on the issue before you claim to have an opinion and I mean the true scientific facts like body difference , strength, etc. You will find that a trans m-f still ends up with pretty similar strength to a teen girl with hormones that keep testosterone at bay. Other than that I think you all are a bunch of sorry bigots!

    • Tan K Solot

      That girl didn’t think she was a guy, though. But hey, thanks for being the blog police.

      • AlliVonWetzel

        Blog police lol. No . Just speaking out against things that I see as wrong. I am not here to police anyone just hopefully shed light on a new subject people are facing and hoping they will respond in a compassionate understanding intelligent way.

        • Tan K Solot

          I think there’s going to be some guys who want to play on the girls water polo team. Just saying.

        • SGV 4 30 Years

          AlliVonWetzel,

          You can’t paint everyone with the same paint brush. I’m an open minded person, but I also know that research can be slanted one way or the other. The eyeball test tells me that when you compare strength and speed, in general the boys are going to be bigger stronger and faster. That’s why they separate boys and girls teams. Do you think Patrick playing softball has the same impact as Suzy playing on the football team? I don’t think the Gov. Thought this whole thing through. Co-Ed locker facilities? Which teacher monitors that? What about the rights of others? I think a can of worms has been opened up with no plan. To me, that’s the bigger picture. I hope this is a good experience for Patrick and the she will sit and talk to Fred about it for a story.

        • SaintsR4real

          AlliVonWetzel. THEN PLEASE SHED SOME LIGHT ON FREDS LAST PARAGRAPH

    • FredJ

      AlliVonWezel.
      Using a football comparison is not the right one. Boys have a natural physical advantage over girls. If a girl can make the boys football team, she makes it on talent, she’s usually a kicker, and there is no physical or competitive advantage of a girl trying out for a football team.

      Couple of facts you should no. One, boys are not allowed on high school softball teams. A boy cannot simply go out for a girls softball team like a girl can in football, that’s just how the rules are written by CIF. In this case, however, it has been allowed because Pat identifies herself as female, and the law allows for it because of her gender identity.

      Also, Pat, to my understanding, has not had any hormonal treatments, she said so in a story.

      Now, and I don’t think it’s bigoted or being unfair, the argument against a person born male competing in an all-female sport is the competitive advantage a boy has playing against girls because of their physical characteristics. It’s the reason boys and girls are separated in the first place. If there were no competitive advantages, everything would be co-ed.

      Although I would agree there are ignorant commenters here, it’s unfair of you to label everyone ignorant for asking the question whether a person born a boy should compete on a girls softball team based on the physical advantages.

      It’s a legitimate question and concern.

    • Get a Grip

      @AlliVonWetzel:disqus
      I just read threw all of the comments on this subject and didn’t see any derogatory comments about Patrick. All of the post were legitimate concerns and questions. I find it ironic that you use the word ignorant towards many of the people posting on this subject when it’s you that has displayed ignorance in regard to Patrick’s condition. The kid is quoted in a previous article as NOT having undergone any hormone treatments.

    • JoeyPerez

      You are the only BIGOT here

  • reality

    OK. Other girls have played boys baseball. Pat is a boy that feels she is a girl, correct? Since girls can play baseball why does,nt Pat play baseball as a girl.? No problemo.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Unfortunately AzusA residents, this is what happens when AMERICAN CITZENS don’t study propositions, measurements and were to lazy to go out and VOTE! How does a bill like Assembly 1266 get by us??? Now it’s a little to late to whine, complain, voice our opinions and cry about it all we want, because now the Bill has become a Law! The City of AZUSA had it’s hands tied and folks there’s nothing we can do about it! Do you think the City of AZUSA, or the District or even City Hall would go against a LAWYER like Gloria Allred! I think not, because the City of AZUSA would have Lost! That’s why Folks… Patrick is now playing baseball on a Girls Softball Team! He stated, it was all about the timing and he KNEW THE LAW was on his side!

    The only possible way this can be blocked, is propose a new bill to block this from happening, or start a petition to RECALL Tony Ammiano!!! “So we the PEOPLE”, of California need to DO SOMETHING! Whining on FRED’S blog WILL NOT DO IT!

    AZTEC PRIDE! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  • Michael Scott

    So the law basically states you can now have a girl softball team made up of all “females” who had the bad luck of being born “males”. So if 9 guys woke up one morning and said we are all now girls lets go and win us a softball title because the State of California said we could. This is called Pandoras Box.

    • AZTEC PRIDE

      Yup, PANDORA’S BOX is just the begining! Next the LGBT community will have schools change text books, and whatever else they can change to say it’s okay for a man or woman to marry each other, or a transgender to play Girls Softball. Bills like 1266 are just the begining but ORGANIZATIONS like the ACLU are trying to keep kids from praying before or after a game? Folks if we stanby and do nothing, this will be the NEW AMERICA! SO WHEN IT’S TIME TO VOTE!!! GO VOTE!
      AZTEC PRIDE! GOD BLESS AMERICA

    • Bumoto Yo

      Understand who voted for this:

      First of all, AB1266 was introduced by a Democrat

      The House

      Yes votes, 46 – all democrats, 0 republicans

      No votes, 25 – 23 republicans, 2 democrats

      Did not vote, 8 – 6 democrats, 2 republicans

      The Senate

      Yes votes, 21 – all democrats, 0 republicans

      No votes, 8 – all republicans, 0 democrats

      Did not vote, 8 – 6 democrats, 2 republicans

      Signed into law by democrat Governor
      The voters may get a shot of voting on this in November if petition is validated

  • Get a Grip

    I don’t like this law or ruling by CIF at all, but if the law and rule are going to remain the law/rule needs to be tightened up considerably. And by tightened up, I mean that the law/rule needs to mandate that all transgender athletes at the High School and College level to provide medical documentation that they have undergone and continue to receive the hormone treatments that reduce or diminish the obvious physical advantages that men posses over women. If males are going to use this law/rule as a means to participate in women’s competitive sports then they need to be “all in” in their convictions. As the law/rule stands right now, eventually some very good male athlete is going to step forward and make a political statement by tearing apart an entire CIF Division in some sport.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Wow… Sad to see the City of AzusA receiving all the this BAD publicity in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune? What’s next?

    “Azusa High’s ex-wrestling coach gets 6 months after plea deal in sexting case”…

    • Tan K Solot

      Ha! Azusa is A to Z in the USA. We got a little of everything. Keep the pride, homer.

  • Rebecca Valdes

    Rebecca Valdes

    I had a friend in High school that was gay but never ever came out while going to azusa high he waited til after he graduated to be brave enough to finally tell people who he was for real. I feel it refreshing that in todays world u can openly tell people who u are and are less ridiculed that u were 20 yrs ago

  • New York

    Freddy,
    I coach an adult co-ed softball team and the ball flies off the bat when men hit the ball. Has anyone considered the safety involved when a biological boy hits the ball back at the pitcher, which is a short distance?

  • Daddy ball

    Let me join the comment by cusin vini. I did cut a player at my school in the Covina Valley Unified School District. This was agreed upon by six coaches, two females and four males. One coach was brand new and had never met this person in his life. The parents went to the new principal and complained. I was placed on leave and the girl was brought back to the program. Not the JV team but the varsity team. Can you believe it? Not good enough for the JV team but lets over rule an experienced coach and coaches and place her on a team she doesn’t belong on. She didn’t play but parents were proud. This all stems from giving out trophies to every kid to play during their youth and not just the champs. Of course, however, she was an all star and a starter on a travel ball team coached by, you guessed it, her dad.

  • Daddy ball

    This is the same as Coach Montes at Azusa. The superintendent and lawyers made this decision. I am sure Mrs. Gahring had nothing to do with it. Its obvious when they don’t let Fred on campus and tell the coach she can’t speak to the pubic.

  • Daddy ball

    Boys are allowed to play female sports when there is not a male equivalent, like volleyball. Quit a few SGV schools don’t have boys volleyball. Can you imagine the parents of the girls who get cut or sit on the bench when 4 or 5 boys make the team and start in front of their daughter who plays club volleyball?

  • ftblcoachg

    And my question to you is…
    What is your gender were you born?
    If it is male then you should play boys sports. If you are a girl, then you should play girls sports…

    Listen to the question before you go crazy defending yourself…
    Also is there any way we can drug and athlete to make sure they are not taking any hormone that would be a supplement that assist in the physical ability of any athlete. Like you said Christian sports are suppose to be recreation which means, that if you need to ingest drugs that will alter you physical appearance then that would be considered against CIF rules.

    As a coach myself, i’m disappointed that this decision has come about, not because the boy is playing a girls sport. But more importantly that those girls play freshman, Frosh/ Sophmore, and also worked out together in the off-season getting ready to start their varsity season together then all of a sudden a boy gets to take a girls spot that did all the work. How do we explain that to our team. Is that what we are trying to teach our teams these days, you don’t have to work with you team, you can just show up and play. I just believe Azuza H.S looking out for the best interest of it’s teams or the kids…sad situation. I’m disappointed.

  • christian_transgender

    AB 1266 is a good law! Amen!

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