Two years ago, 16 Boston hockey players formed Team Trans, the first American sports team made up entirely of transgender athletes. They gathered over the weekend in Wisconsin to participate in their second hockey tournament, a weekend friendship series with the Madison Gay Hockey Association.

Team Trans caught the attention of other transgender and non-binary hockey players following their inaugural game against Boston Pride Hockey, the LGBTQ + team founded in the late 1980s, in 2019. Groups in the Madison area, where already a thriving LGBTQ + hockey community, were eager to bring them to Wisconsin.

The Team Trans players said they knew they had stumbled upon something special by the time they got together. While many of them had previously played in LGBTQ + leagues, they were often the only trans athletes on their teams, which sometimes made it difficult or embarrassing to talk about their gender identity.

“It’s just relaxed and comfortable from the start. We’re not going to have a bunch of awkward questions that other people might have if they know we’re trans. Then we talk about other things that would be completely off the table for conversations with mostly cis[gender] people ”, Mason LeFebvre, one of the goalkeepers of Team Trans, told NBC News.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Change America to your Facebook Where Twitter feed to stay up to date with the latest news.


“It’s like you don’t have to go through a bunch of awkward obstacles before you can just exist together in a space,” Avery Cordingley, who plays center and uses them / them pronouns, told NBC.

“Last night, I picked up a player from the airport at 11 am, and we are chatting instantly. We both have experiences like, “Are we going to be able to continue playing hockey if we choose to make the transition?” And we didn’t even have to go into that. We’re just like, “Yeah, I played hockey here and here and here,” they added.

Growing up, LeFebvre and Cordingley both played on women’s hockey teams before beginning their transition. They said they often felt alienated from their teammates as they struggled with their gender identity.

At least 10 states have passed laws prohibiting transgender youth from participating in school sports teams that match their gender identities, saying this ensures a level playing field, according to the Movement Advancement Project. These laws are more common in K-12 schools, but are sometimes found in colleges and universities as well.

Professional sports organizations have recently launched more inclusive policies. The International Olympic Committee last week introduces new directives for trans and intersex athletes, step back controversial setting of 2015 that required transgender women to take anti-hormonal drugs.

Last month, the Premier Hockey Federation, formerly the National Women’s Hockey League, issued a new policy providing a pathway for trans and non-binary athletes to compete. This policy has not yet been put into practice.


READ MORE STORIES OF CHANGING AMERICA

EXPERTS PREDICT ALARMING INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES IN THE UNITED STATES THIS WINTER

HUGE NEW STUDY FINDS MASKS THE MOST EFFECTIVE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

‘HAMILTON’ STAR LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA MEETS CANCEL CULTURE

THE BIBLICAL PLAGUE OF DEADLY SCORPIONS WASHES IN THE STREETS IN EGYPT

SHARKS SPOTTED IN THE FAMOUS RIVER THROUGH LONDON