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Trans soccer trailblazer Mara Gomez featured in Nike ‘Play New’ campaign

Gomez, the first out trans woman to play in Argentina’s top league, is ready for “her turn to open the door” for other trans athletes.

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Mara Gomez
Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images

Groundbreaking Argentine soccer player Mara Gomez gave trans Latinx women a voice in professional soccer when she became the first out trans woman to play in Argentina’s Primera Division last year. Now, her voice and message is getting a huge boost via Nike’s “Play New” campaign.

Gomez is the subject of the campaign’s latest ad, placing her among the ranks of other notable trans and gender-diverse athletes such as Olympic gold medalist Quinn, Chris Mosier and Leo Baker who have partnered with Nike to spread a message of empowerment, awareness and trans athletic joy. Trans volleyball player Tiffany Abreu’s “Impossible Is Nothing” ad brought that same message to Adidas as well.

Between beaming smiles and footage of her training, Gomez gets candid about her role in Argentine sports, stating that it’s “her turn to open the door” for other athletes, becoming the role model she didn’t have when busting down the doors of South American professional soccer.

“Lots of people have identified with my struggle with each personal victory,” Gomez said in a Nike blog post. “I feel that what I’m doing today is opening doors for future generations.”

“Sometimes the changes that end up being revolutionary are the ones that cost the most,” she added.

Gomez made history in Jan. 2020 by signing with the Primera Division’s Villa San Marcos. She once again etched her name into soccer’s history books when she played in her first game in December of that year. She has since left Villa San Marcos, signing with Estudiantes de La Plata in August, but remains the only out trans woman to ever play professionally in her home nation.

But her fight around gender in athletics isn’t stopping with her role model status. Gomez wants to challenge FIFA itself and “de-binarize their regulations” while reaching World Cup heights with Argentina.

“I would like to wear the colors of our country in a World Cup,” Gomez said. “If it’s not with me, it doesn’t matter, let it be with someone else, but let it happen.”