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Transgender college rugby player leading team to national success

Mason Johnson will complete his transition after his college rugby days.

Mason Johnson has helped lead the team to great success the last two seasons.
Quinnipiac Athletics

One successful member of the Quinnipiac Univ. women’s rugby team has made a name for himself on the pitch. Now he’s changing that name.

When Mason Johnson came out as transgender to his teammates, nothing changed for them. He was still the incredibly talented, hard-working rugger who had helped bring so much success to the team. What also didn’t change is the pronouns used in media recaps of the team’s matches. While his name had changed on the roster, many people outside the team didn’t know he was a he.

This week he shared his story publicly with Q30 Television, the student-run TV station on the Connecticut campus.

Now hopefully those recaps will change too.

Since sharing his true self, Johnson has been left balancing his desire to continue to play rugby on his women’s team and his desire to further his transition with hormone therapy. He knows if he begins that therapy, which includes an intake of hormones, he will not be allowed to play with the women.

While his coach would support his decision to leave the team, Johnson can’t leave quite yet.

“I have to prove myself to make this time worth it because it’s hard for me to be here and to play and play the sport I love while not being able to fully be myself,” Johnson told Q30 Television. “I just need to make it, do everything I can with this time because, if not, I could potentially just walk away from rugby and be myself.”

His coach isn’t complaining. Last year Johnson was the MVP of the final four as the team took home a national title. Johnson is currently a junior, so he has a lot more rugby left in him.

For the full story on Johnson, head to Q30’s Web site.