Australian boxing sensation Harry Garside has one of the most distinctive personas in the industry. He won a bronze medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics and is now Australia’s lightweight champion.
Garside has attempted several times to challenge masculine norms in his own personal life while being a successful boxer in the ring.
Garside is doing what he loves and what makes him feel most like himself. He is not ashamed to wear a skirt or a dress or even to show the world how much he loves ballet dancing.
And although doing so often exposes him to varied remarks from internet trolls, he believes that being genuine has a bigger influence on other people.
Garside said in an interview with news.com.au that although some really unpleasant trolls are around, there are also some that truly inquire about his influence on young people.
“There is just some super negative trolls that hang around, but then there’s also the ones who genuinely ask me questions around ‘what impact are you having on young people’. I mean here I am wearing a skirt and am I confusing young people?”
“I genuinely believe that as a society we should be supporting individuality and uniqueness and the herd supporting that rather than the herd supporting people who feel they need to conform and be like everyone else.”
“I think you realise as an adult having different uniqueness is actually a superpower, but when you’re younger you feel this need to conform. I felt that throughout my childhood, this need to not want to be too different or else you’re going to get isolated.”
“But what I’ve realised the older I get is the more unique and special and different you are it’s a bit of a superpower in your adult years so I just want to try and show young people that it’s actually beautiful to walk in your own essence and try things.”
“Even if it’s not your calling, try things because you never know what your calling is until you try it, I’m just trying to encourage young people to do that.”
The boxing champion recently shared his passion for ballet and how it provides his power in both his fights and daily life. He admitted to Body and Soul last month that he had always wanted to pursue ballet but had been a bit hesitant to share his love of dancing with his community.
He said: “I had always wanted to try ballet but was a little scared to let my community know that I was interested in dance. I feared being judged and becoming an outcast.
“I finally built up the courage in 2019 to start, and I am so grateful I did. I always walk out feeling a little taller now, and little more confident with each step.”
“The best part is that it has helped my boxing massively, too.”