Blair Hamilton has been named a goalie for the England Universities Sport Women’s soccer team. She’ll be one of the first trans women in the world to compete in international soccer competitions.
The announcement came last week via the Twitter feed for the Hastings United Football Club — Hamilton plays for the Hastings club.
This week Hastings United released a statement following “abuse” of Hamilton they observed on Twitter following the announcement.
“Online abuse is still abuse and the accounts have been reported and passed on to Twitter,” the club said. “All our staff, players and supporters stand alongside Blair and will continue to support her both on and off the pitch.”
Hamilton’s spot on the Universities team continues a journey toward her goal of competing on the elite national and international level.
“Obviously, international football with Scotland or Northern Ireland would be the dream and I believe in my own ability to play at that level,” Hamilton says in her club profile.
The 32-year-old is eligible for the universities team as she is a PhD candidate at the University of Brighton, where she is researching effects of medical transition.
“Being male-born, the general argument which I’m trying to disprove in my research is that trans women have an advantage and that you’re taking a place away from a girl,” she told Pride Of The Terraces.
She’s currently looking for participants for a study.
The selection of Hamilton representing England is interesting given the emergence of English culture as being seen as particularly hostile to trans women, with some trans advocates nicknaming it “TERF Island.” TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” and refers to women who advocate for women’s rights but don’t include trans women in that category.
Recently British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he opposes trans women competing in women’s sports, while also sharing support for trans people in general.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition and it’s vital we give people the maximum love and support in making those decisions,” Johnson said.
Regardless of their claims, Hamilton will be representing England.
Of course, trans athletes do also have plenty of support, as she was selected to compete.