How Can You Be Both? First 'Openly Nonbinary, Trans' Ref to Officiate NBA Games This Season

Nick Kangadis | October 24, 2023
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(Story Image: Screenshot/NBC Sports)

You know how we always get announcements, or even movies made, about the first person of whatever identity to do…well, anything? Get your bingo cards ready, because you’re going to fill in a bunch of spaces in one fell swoop.

An NBA referee, a nonbinary person and a transgender walk into a bar…and that’s just the first person.

Che Flores, a 10-year basketball referee veteran, will reportedly become the first “openly nonbinary, transgender referee” in league history when — I don’t know — “it” steps onto the court for the upcoming NBA regular season, according to Fox News.

Of course, as it usually goes with people that identify in similar fashions, this seems to be about wanting attention for Flores.

“One piece I was missing for myself was that no one knew how I identified,” Flores told GQ.

Related: Sticky Situation: Arizona Coyotes Defenseman Defies NHL Ban On Pride Tape

Here’s the thing — who cares how you identify? Was there a groundswell of people who contacted Flores that just had to know? Forget “nonbinary” or “transgender,” how many people even knew this person was a referee to begin with? Can you officiate the game competently? That’s all we need to know.

“Being misgendered as she/her always just felt like a little jab in the gut,” Flores continued.

I’m sure people were calling Flores “she” or “her” because they wanted to misgender “it” intentionally. Or maybe people used “she” and “her,” because Flores looks more female than male.

It’s not clear how Flores can be both nonbinary and transgender at the same time. If you consider yourself nonbinary, that means you don’t identify with either gender. And in order to be transgender you have to acknowledge male and female and transition from one to the other, depending on your biological gender.


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