Jessica Platt, a player for the Toronto Furies in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, has come out publicly as transgender.
Platt posted her coming-out message on Instagram Wednesday night:
After a lot of thought I would like to announce that I am transgender. I am fortunate enough to be able to live my life as who I am meant to be as well as follow my passion and play the game I love.
With the support of my family, friends, the CWHL and the Toronto Furies I am able to live my dream while being true to myself. I hope that others will be as fortunate as I am, now and in the future. I want people to know you don’t have to quit pursuing your dreams to be the person you were meant to be.
Platt said the reason she is coming out publicly now is to “inspire others to live their lives true to who they are.”
“I want people to see that if someone is going through a hard time because they’re trans or gay or bisexual that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Platt told ESPNW’s Katie Barnes. “There’s potential to be happy and live the life that you’ve always wanted.”
Platt, 28, has played 20 games in the CWHL over the last two seasons, scoring one goal. The Furies have won only four of 16 games this season and are ranked sixth of the seven teams in the CWHL.
The support for Platt has already come pouring across social media. Chris Mosier, the pioneering trans athlete who has helped affect policy change for trans athletes around the world, called Platt “a new role model” in women’s hockey.
Her league, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, has embraced her announcement and her as a player and person:
The CWHL pledges to stand behind every athlete, coach, administrator, volunteer and fan. All of us together, #WeAreTheGame https://t.co/q95sDN2lH9— CWHL (@TheCWHL) January 11, 2018
Also supporting Platt publicly is the other publicly out transgender professional hockey player, Harrison Browne, who plays in the National Women’s Hockey League:
Super proud of you @JPlatt32! You have my full support #HockeyIsForEveryone https://t.co/SoZ0pnZClg— Harrison Browne (@Hbrowne24) January 11, 2018
Also offering institutional support was the CWHL Players Association, the union that represents the league’s players:
We stand by you. We stand for you. We are so proud of you, Jess! https://t.co/hTgJ8wKbi8— CWHLPA (@CWHL_PA) January 11, 2018
This kind of support will be instrumental to Platt’s success and well-being. As with every transgender woman in sports, be they AFL player Hannah Mouncey, weightlifter Laurel Hubbard or MMA fighter Fallon Fox, has experienced ill-informed, uneducated attacks that were at times personal and violent. Platt coming out to the support of her league, her union, her teammates and her colleagues is hugely important.
We at Outsports are here to support Platt and every transgender athlete however we can.
There is a lengthy profile piece on ESPNW.com that you should definitely check out.