They were perhaps the most unusual of pickup teams. A group of 16 hockey players from across North America, some of whom boast professional pedigrees. They met up in one of the USA’s premiere hockey towns to play a pioneering inaugural series this past weekend.
The common thread of this team? Every player was transgender.
The team was led by trailblazers such as Harrison Browne, who retired from professional play after consecutive National Women’s Hockey League Championships in 2018.
My thoughts heading into the first ever all-trans hockey series in Boston tomorrow... pic.twitter.com/hhqAighrOz— Harrison Browne (@Hbrowne24) November 8, 2019
Joining him is Jessica Platt, the first openly transgender woman to compete in a North American professional hockey league. Currently, she’s a part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association effort to rebuild a professional league on the continent.
“We often feel hostility and are forced to potentially quit playing sports,” Platt posted on Instagram: “I felt I had to at one point. So to have a series like this is incredible.”
Our jerseys are the coolest ever. They also made up commemorative pucks. pic.twitter.com/i0uCvzXPrN— Madison Gay Hockey (@MadGayHockey) November 9, 2019
These new pages of LGBTQ sports history began with a Saturday tilt on a sheet of ice in Cambridge, Mass. The match itself was a nip-and-tuck game. Twice in the third period, Team Trans fought to tie the game on goals by Platt and Heather Galla, but a late BPH push provided a game-winning goal. Te BPH Selects escaped 4-3, but the fans in attendance gave Team Trans a rousing ovation.
Their place in history was what they won, and more than made up for a tough loss.
Hi friends! Uncle k8 here. #TeamTrans lost our first game to @bostonpridehock Boston in a 4-3 nailbiter, but we had a lot of fun anyway. It certainly didn’t feel like our first game together. pic.twitter.com/8LnPCfUYpT— Madison Gay Hockey (@MadGayHockey) November 10, 2019
The Sunday game was a tougher climb. Again, the BPH Selects got out of the gates after a scoreless first period and took the lead in the second. Team Trans answered with a goal to cut the lead to 2-1, but their opposition carried the second period with 3 more goals and then cruised home to an 8-3 win.
Of course, the scoreboard is secondary in this series. From this Massachusetts arena to social media digital domains, trans sports fans felt this team achieved a miracle on ice.
When I came out as trans I sort of lost my sense of community when I identified as a gay woman for such a long time... today I felt like I found that sense of belonging again #TeamTrans pic.twitter.com/3byBr7DFHn— Harrison Browne (@Hbrowne24) November 10, 2019
And while this may have been the first weekend for Team Trans, it undoubtedly will not be their last.