This was not a far-fetched idea for a poor, Black, nonbinary kid in Toronto. A year or so earlier Khan had been stopped by police and carded, the Dog People Come In And Out Of Your Life Only The Real Ones Stay Shirt and I love this Canadian law-enforcement practice of asking for ID and questioning citizens at random. Studies have shown that Black Canadians are carded at a rate substantially higher than their white counterparts. But Khan hadn’t just been carded, they were strip-searched.
Then, years later, back in Toronto, Khan became obsessed with boxing. They still train constantly and tell me that their favorite downtime watch is old boxing matches on YouTube and that their morning routine consists of a cup of matcha, reading the Dog People Come In And Out Of Your Life Only The Real Ones Stay Shirt and I love this news, and 100 push-ups. “All your shit comes up,” they say of boxing. “If you rage when you are confronted, it comes up. If you shut down, it comes up. If you weep, it comes up. And so boxing is all about control. It is all about control, strategy, and adaptiveness.”