MEET OUR MENTORS
Danny Baker, London
Happy trans man from London, England. I’ve spent the last four years doing what I can in the support world (90% LGBTQI+ based ) and been having so much fun with it. I’ve met some amazing people and it all started with Pride Boxing UK, a fundraiser set up to raise funds for the LGBTQI+ homeless .
As as trans man I’m fully aware there are no choices really involved when it comes to sexuality or identity and rather than dwell on the whys and how’s I like to encourage and shine the light on the HIGHS an the WOWs Every single person within the LGBTQI + community is beautiful worthy and most definitely able!!!
That’s why I love what I do - it’s seeing people do well As a young person I suffered massively with my mental health and all it took was someone to believe in me and put me on the right path .
I believe there’s enough room on the path FOR ALL OF US. I’m so buzzing to be able to work with the WORLD GAY BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS and be given the opportunity to meet encourage and support the LGBTQI+ family in safe spaces across the WORLD !!!
Watch out Eddie Hearn! Haha! Boxing is a great way of bringing yourself to life , great fitness and great way of meeting and really connecting with new people (good people). Almost like learning to dance. It’s not as scary as it looks haha I’d like to encourage everyone to take part I can’t wait to meet you all !!!
Massive thanks to the amazing founders at the world gay boxing championships For reaching out and giving us the opportunity to get busy . Love to you all xx
Cody Braman, Minessota, USA
In general, life has not taken a very traditional path for me. I was born in prison, adopted to very conservative, northern Minnesota family. My adopted parents were both chemically-dependent counselors who were devoutly religious. They did the best they could with me. I caused a lot of problems for them, and I recognize that now. My dad put a lot of work into me, pushing me to be the best I could be as an athlete. At times, he probably pushed me too hard. Looking back, I think that I was probably justified in feeling like he was a complete hard-ass, but, I also think that he probably saw that I was really talented and he wanted me to benefit from all of the opportunities that could come from that, if I put everything I had into it.
As I got older, I began to clash with my adopted parents and family more and more. I was struggling with the idea of being adopted, the feelings of being gay, the strict house, and more and I would lash out. It would all result in either me running away, or my family kicking me out. The worst part was, I didn’t even really understand any of what I was feeling or going through, I was mostly just angry. By the time I graduated from high school, any opportunities that sports had created for me, had all been lost. That really started a downward spiral of selling drugs drinking, and fighting, and being in and out of jail or jail diversion programs. I tried to use religion as a way to get me back on track, but then when I was 21 and I came out to my family and friends, in my small conservative town, people turned their back on me. The spiral just started over again.
It wasn’t long after this that my mom was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Her death, her last words to me was, (I’m going to hell cause I’m gay it’s not to late)and never being able to come to an understanding with her before she died, just added more fuel to the spiral I was in.
A couple years’ worth of bad choices later, I found myself on life support with permanent cardiac health issues. When I first woke up on life support, I really didn’t know whether or not I cared if I survived. But, when I did, it started the slow and steady path to building my new life. There were plenty of ups, and downs – mostly downs – as I worked to find my way back to a “normal” life.
Throughout all of this, I met my husband, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and has shown me unconditional love and support through every up and down along the way. And, along the way, I found myself in the basement of a Minneapolis building at the Minneapolis Boxing Club, and nothing has been the same since.
Fighting gave me the structure, discipline, and community I needed to really thrive. It introduced me to Gina and 7E. Everything that I am most grateful for at this point in my life, is thriving right now due to my dedication to fighting. So, that is one of the major driving forces behind my passion in helping other fighters chase their dream. I know the change this sport can bring to someone’s life, and it is inspiring and an honor to be part of that.
But now as of December 29th 2020 Cody has been medically cleared to fight in MMA again will debuting early 2021.