Transgender mixed martial arts fighter Alana McLaughlin has been getting some hate on social media after winning her debut match last week, but she’s clapped back in awesome fashion.
McLaughlin, the first trans woman to compete in MMA in the U.S. since Fallon Fox retired in 2014 and only the second ever, bested Celine Provost in Miami Friday night in the Combate Global preliminaries. She had passed all the tests required by the Florida State Boxing Commission in order to compete, including a test of her hormone levels, ESPN reports. Fighting under the name Lady Feral, she wore a T-shirt with the words “End Trans Genocide.”
Even though McLaughlin was OK’d by the commission, however, some are claiming she had an unfair advantage in the fight. Former MMA fighter Jake Shields put up this tweet:
McLaughlin posted this one in response and got a lot of love on Twitter.
She also posted a picture of her bruised face on Instagram and noted, “I’m getting a lot of variations of the same nasty messages calling me a cheater.” She added that Provost “almost finished me more than once” and “definitely won that first round,” as McLaughlin’s win came in the second. She’s determined to fight back against the hate, she wrote: “Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”
Fox was in the audience for McLaughlin’s fight. “That was a pretty amazing thing to see,” Fox told Outsports. “I was sitting there watching history.”
McLaughlin has called Fox an inspiration. “Right now I’m following in Fallon’s footsteps. I’m just another step along the way, and it’s my great hope that there are more to follow behind me,” McLaughlin said recently on the podcast The Trans Sporter Room.