Often when I show this photo to friends, they joke and say “Leslie, I didn’t know you had a brother!” Such was the life of growing up a “tomboy” in the 1980s. We’re talking classic tomboy: short hair, tube socks, sneaks, where everyday was a field day. At school, I skipped lunch to play basketball with the boys. During PE, I wanted to play baseball rather than softball. My life oriented around being athletic and letting myself flow free, never once thinking I should or shouldn’t do something because of my gender.
I’m thankful that my parents encouraged me to keep playing to my full potential, and that Title IX eventually caught up to enable equal opportunity for women’s collegiate sports. Those early days on the field-ground helped shape me into a Division 1 athlete and instilled a steadfast sense of being true-to-myself. To really lean into my passions, strengths and not worry about showing up any different way than myself.
Today I still play basketball with the boys, often playing pick-up at the Y. And I’m grateful for a place where I belong just as myself, including TomboyX with an amazing team and queer co-founders. Leslie, CEO tomboyx