Today is Trans Day of Visibility and I’m excited that I get to share the story of Allison Bullock, a transgender woman, advocate and mentor, and Oilers fan.
If you missed last week’s feature, we met the woman behind Oil Doodles, Wendy Lam!
I’ve been following Allie for a while now on social media and have been patiently waiting to watch a game and/or hit the golf course with her (thanks, Covid). Allie uses her social media to empower the trans community and educate others on how they can be better allies, with plenty of Oilers tweets in between, of course. Her willingness to be herself in a world that isn’t always kind is inspiring, empowering, and simply incredible. I continue to be inspired by Allie day after day, and I hope you will now, too.
Getting to hear Allison’s story and share it is an honour—let’s meet this incredible woman!
MEET ALLISON BULLOCK
KYLA: Who is Allison?
ALLISON: My name is Allison Katherine Bullock. I’m 49 and an openly Transgender woman. I’m a lifelong Oiler fan having grown up in Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
What’s your day job?
I’m a Bodily Injury Adjuster (don’t judge!).
What are your passions?
I am passionate about authenticity, Transgender rights, and the LGTBQ community. I’m also passionate about living life with love, passion and joy. While I enjoy sports, and the Oilers specifically, I do not live and die by their success.
What is something interesting about you that not many people know?
The obvious answer is that I wasn’t always who I am now… but I have never been shy about talking about that! I’ve always been pretty open about who I am and who I am becoming. I don’t think many people know that I mentor Transgender youth and parents of Transgender children in how to navigate life in today’s society.
There may be a few people reading this article who may just be finding out the interesting fact that I am no longer the person they knew. Uh, sorry? Lol!
KYLA: How did you get into hockey and what role has it played in your life?
ALLISON: I played hockey in my pre-transition life from a very young age until midget. Even into adulthood I played ball hockey. I would like to think I was reasonably good at it 😊
Hockey played many roles in my life, often conflicting roles too… I enjoyed playing hockey for the sheer enjoyment and athleticism. Hockey was also important because it gave me a way to hide from who I really was, as I was nowhere close to being able to accept the truth of it. At the same time, hockey also gave me the knowledge that I was different from all the other players… it was a complicated relationship!
KYLA: There is a phrase, “Hockey is for everyone” that we hear around the hockey world, but there’s a large gap between this statement and what actually goes on in the hockey world to truly make hockey for everyone. As a transgender woman, what has your experience been in the hockey community? Have you faced any hardships or had any really positive experiences?
ALLISON: You are very right. There is a giant disconnect between that phrase and what the current situation is. The more appropriate term should be “Hockey watching is for everyone, as long as you keep your opinions to yourself”. Maybe some with think this is harsh, and I am sure there will be more than one “Not all hockey people” comment, but it’s the honest truth. There is still a long way for the sport to come before we can truly say it is for everyone. Just look at the comments surrounding Cassie Campbell or any of the women doing commentary on hockey broadcasts. We haven’t even touched the issue of diversity and the experiences of Akim Aliu and K’Andre Miller. I can tell you that I had been in many dressing rooms in my pre-transition life and heard all sorts of racist and misogynistic commentary.
Since I have transitioned my experiences around hockey have been mostly excellent. I should clarify that to say hockey fandom instead of hockey as I haven’t laced up skates and played since I revealed my “authentic self” to the world. Playing team sports as a transgender woman is a whole different battle that I haven’t had the energy to tackle as of yet. I guess that statement right there proves my point that there is a long way to go regarding acceptance and “being for everyone”.
What I can tell you is that the hockey fandom, and Oilers twitter specifically, has been very good to me. I have met most of my closest friends through it and my life would not be near as amazing as it is right now without it. Yes, I do get the odd transphobic and/or misogynistic comment (find me a woman who hasn’t) but the funny thing about the keyboard warriors is that they would never say that to my face. In any of the watch parties or meetups I have been to I have never been treated with anything but the utmost care and respect.
I can remember setting up a last minute watch party to last years BOA rematch after Kassian/Tkachuk round 1 and having more than 30 people show up! My favourite moment was a couple of random guys coming up to me and asking if I was @alliebeefree and how cool it was to meet me and how much they respect me for living authentically! These were 2 “good old hockey boys” and they didn’t give a damn that I was Transgender… if anything, it made them like me even more. (I’m sorry I can’t remember your names, but if you are reading it you know who you are and thank you, you made my night!).
KYLA: In her feature, Jen Wrobel shared that the first Oilers Girls Night was your debut party and that night raised over $2100 for You Can Play Canada. What did that night mean to you?
ALLISON: OMG. It meant the world to me! First of all… Jen and her sister Krista are forces of nature! When those women want something done, you just get out of the way and watch with amazement! The third member of the triumvirate, Lynn, is such an amazing woman and she just seems to know everyone and has a way of getting things done! I am so blessed to have them in my life.
That night was the night I truly realized I could be who I was meant to be, and that people could SEE me for who I was meant to me. It was the moment that started it all, it crystallized what my life was going to be going forward. I owe so much to them for making me feel safe and comfortable… and I met so many people who will forever be life long friends, whether they know it or not! 😊
KYLA: What is the best advice you could give other transgender people in the hockey community?
ALLISON: The same thing I would tell them about any aspect of life: Be authentic, find your people and don’t worry about the rest.
KYLA: What would you like to see from the hockey community as a whole to ensure hockey and its fans celebrate the diversity within it and ensure an inclusive space for the LGTBQIA2+ community?
ALLISON: I would like to see more than lip service given to the Queer community and inclusion. There needs to be education and diversity training and I would like to see poor behaviour (transphobia, hate speech, etc) called out at every single turn. It won’t happen over night, but with the right tools we can make inroads.
KYLA: What does hockey mean to you?
ALLISON: It’s the quintessential Canadian activity! It gives us something to rally around, allows us to connect with people we may not normally connect with and, honestly, in COVID times… it gives us something to do at night!
KYLA: What is your favourite Oilers memory?
ALLISON: I was at the game Gretzky got 50 in 39. Easily the biggest sports moment I saw live!
KYLA: What do you enjoy most about being part of the Oilersnation community?
ALLISON: Easily, the almost universal acceptance that I have received for who I am and the relationships I have made as a result.
her Soul Shot shows women how powerful they are through sport by providing resources, community, and inspiration for all women to live their soul’s truth and take their shot in sports.