A new lane for Pima’s Xavier Dorroh

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MONTY GANTT

Xavier Dorroh was born a woman 20 years ago. She grew up with the anatomical and genetic makeup of a woman.

The pronouns people used when people referred to Dorroh were “she” and “her.”

However, on March 28, Dorroh made the difficult decision to share through social media that they’re transitioning from female to male. 

Dorroh was previously known to friends, family and the Pima community as Brianna Pitre, a woman from Tucson who played basketball at Sabino High School, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and most recently Pima Community College. 

Every part of that description was always correct for Brianna, except for one thing: She always felt like a he. 

“It was always kind of in my mind that I wished I was a boy but I always put those feelings aside because I was always in women’s sports growing up, so I thought it was wrong (to feel that way),” Dorroh said. 

Dorroh was on the 2018-19 Pima Women’s Basketball team that finished fifth in the nation. In February, two months before the end of the season, Dorroh made the difficult decision to call an end to his basketball career and proceed with a new chapter in his life. 

“I had decided that I wasn’t going to play next year and that I guess you could say motivated me more to finally be myself and accept who I am,” Dorroh said 

The first person to hear of Dorroh’s plan to transition was his girlfriend Amaia McNair, a former basketball player at Canyon Del Oro High School. After telling McNair, Dorroh shared the news with his family. 

“My sister was the first family member I told and she was really supportive because she’s always been supportive of men in everything. My mom was a little shocked but she told she’ll love me no matter what. My dad, on the other hand, said he still loves me but we’re just going through a rough patch right now.” 

Dorroh wrote a statement that was posted to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter in that order. 

“(Posting the statement on) Twitter was actually the scariest place for me because I have coaches that follow me and more people can see it when it’s re-tweeted, but I was relieved once I finally just came out,” Dorroh said.   

While Twitter was the scariest place to post his announcement, the scariest part about coming out to Dorroh was the reaction of his friends over 700 miles away. 

“I have friends who live in Texas who aren’t transphobic but they keep their distance when it comes to talking about things like that, but they were cool about it and some of them even told me they were proud of me,” Dorroh said.   

Dorroh was afraid to tell Aztecs head coach Todd Holthaus about his decision, but Holthaus’ reaction was not the one he was expecting. 

“I told coach Todd in the middle of the season about it, and he was actually very supportive,” Dorroh said. 

Holthaus felt a sense of pride when Dorroh told him of his transition. 

“I was honored that she trusted me with something so personal,” Holthaus said. “Part of being a coach is caring for your players; regardless of whatever personal beliefs, my philosophy is I want people to be happy and if doing this is going to make her happy, then I’m happy.” 

The reaction of support was echoed throughout his teammates on social media and when asked for comment. 

“I think it’s amazing that she’s finally doing something she’s always wanted to do,” said freshman forward Hallie Lawson. “I’m glad she’s doing what makes her happy and not worrying what others think.” 

Nothing but support continued to pour in for Dorroh. 

“My favorite boy!!!! Super proud of you!!” is what freshman Lizbeth Cruz posted on her Instagram story just hours after Dorroh made his announcement. 

Freshman forward Marlena Arroyo-Plata, one of Dorroh’s best friends on the team, was also one of the first people he came out to. 

“I’m glad she confided to me early on, because I support her 100% and want to see her happy in her own skin,” Arroyo-Plata said. 

Not only has the former Brianna changed their first name, but he will also be changing his last name.

“I really like the name Xavier, and when I looked it up I found out it means ‘new house,’ which I thought was cool since I’m starting a new life,” Dorroh said. “I’m changing my last name, too, because Pitre is my biological father’s name and I grew up with my stepdad always being there, so I decided to change my last name to feel more part of the family and to make him happy.”

Dorroh’s slogan throughout the process of coming out and his upcoming transformation is          #IamNOTaMISTAKE. 

He hopes to use this expression to inspire other closeted trans athletes within the community to accept and love themselves.

“I’d tell them (other trans athletes) not to be scared to be themselves and not let what other people think put you down. Rise above and be happy.”

  

Xavier Dorroh and his girlfriend Amaia McNair outside of Dorroh’s residence.

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