Everlast boxing and fitness equipment company has chosen transgender boxer Patricio Manuel as the face of its new ad campaign.
The boxer born female, and who became the first transgender person to box professionally, will head the company’s “Be First” campaign, the Hill reported.
In the Everlast video, the boxer says that as a child he “felt completely disconnected from myself. I just mentally checked out so that I could continue coping through life.”
In the video, Manuel continues:
It was boxing that brought me back into my body, and it was boxing that allowed me to be proud of actually what I was physically able to do, but boxing also taught me to really be introspective and be like ‘okay what do I really want, and how am I going to have to work for it, because, unfortunately, when you deviate from the norms that society has constructed, you have to fight for that identity, and you have to really make it yourself.
Manuel initially boxed as a female and won five national amateur championships. Manuel also competed as a woman in the 2012 Olympic trials.
After a shoulder injury, the boxer decided to stop “living that lie” of being a female and transition to a male.
“It’s going to hurt. Living your truth is going to hurt, but it’s worth it,” Manuel says in the video.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.