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Women’s Lacrosse Captain Bruce Duncan ‘12 Named NESCAC Player of the Month

In many respects, women’s lacrosse captain Bruce Duncan ’12 is no different from the rest of her teammates. But unlike them, Duncan spent the first 21 years of her life as a self-identified male. Now, after overcoming extraordinary odds, she is being honored as NESCAC’s female player of the month.

“Discovering I was a woman was, uh, pretty life-changing,” said Duncan, who sports a full beard. “It was just like, bam. Maybe the whole reason I’ve been staring at girls’ asses my whole life is because, like, I secretly wanted to have one.” Duncan, who had previously been a substitute on the men’s lacrosse team, eventually confided her gender confusion to men’s lacrosse coach Max Grillo, who strongly encouraged Duncan to embrace her identity.

“Bruce was never a great defender,” said Grillo, “but I knew he’d make a damn fine lady-defender.”

Wesleyan Athletics Director Jackson Danielson was at first hesitant to make an exception to the biological sex rule, after Ashley Greene’s tragic mishap on the 1992 men’s football team. “Greene died,” Danielson said. “But I saw that Bruce could really hold her own out there.”

As Duncan began the rocky transition into womanhood, the athletic community provided her with unquestioning support.

“My life changed a whole lot,” said Duncan. “Except I knew I wasn’t gonna be one of those girls who shave their pits and stuff. Also I’m a lesbian.” Duncan graciously declined any separate locker room accommodations.

From these humble beginnings, Duncan has built an illustrious career as a lacrosse star; she now leads the league in goals, yards, interceptions, and manglings. NESCAC’s board remarked upon her “extraordinary transition” in their commendation, praising her relatively quick adaptation to the rules of women’s lacrosse.

“Growing up I was always told not to hit girls,” said Duncan. “But now it’s okay because I am one. Groin shots don’t work as well as they used to.” Duncan has since been informed that no form of physical contact is permitted under the rules of women’s lacrosse.

At 6’3 and 200 pounds, Duncan is one of the biggest girls in the conference, but her teammates would never think to exclude her from Girls’ Night Out. Last Thursday was Cosmo night. Bruce thought they were tasty.

Bruce’s friends do not see him any differently.

“When he plays lacrosse, he’s a girl,” said Stieg Larsson ’12, “but when he’s hanging out with us, he’s just another dude.”

Bruce’s team is glad to have her. “People may give Bruce shit, but this is our best season yet,” said teammate Becca
Tompkins ’13. “We need more girls like Bruce.”