The groundbreaking trans soccer team

This year, Arthur Webber made history. He captained what he claims was the first ever all-trans masculine soccer team in Europe in a match on a rainy March 31, 2023, evening. The trans pride flag’s primary colors of blue and pink were worn by the players as they took to the field.

People whose gender identity or expression (or both) is masculine and whose birth gender is female are referred to as trans masculine. People who are gender-fluid, non-binary, and transgender are all included in the broad definition.

For the 25-year-old Webber, who gave up football at the age of 13 and only started playing again in 2022, it was a night he couldn’t have dreamed of as a teenager. The game was played in front of 500 fans, fittingly on Transgender Visibility Day.

Webber stated to CNN, “I was quite nervous before the match.” Since I had never held the position of captain before, it was a new challenge for me. I likewise realized almost certainly, the eyes of transphobes online would be on us when we left.

“I needed to ensure we obtained a fair outcome and that the folks playing had a great time – particularly on the grounds that heaps of them hadn’t played football since school. In the changing rooms, I had to explain the offside rule to a few of them!

Webber stopped playing soccer for eleven years. He gave up the sport when he came out as transgender as a teenager, but he never stopped loving it.

“When we strolled onto the pitch, there was a genuine deep satisfaction that we were there and we were accomplishing something uniquely great.”

The historic team that played in that match is a member of the TRUK United FC club, which was founded in January 2021 with the initial intention of raising funds for their namesake, Trans Radio UK. They now want to connect the trans community and make soccer a sport that is more inclusive.

The manager is Lucy Clark, who, according to the Football Association (FA), was the first transgender person to serve as a referee in English soccer in 2018. She also organized the first ever transgender all-female team in the world in 2022, also for TRUK.

Webber claims that Clark encouraged him to captain the all-transgender team last month. As manager, Clark has overseen TRUK United’s historic achievements.

Trans ladylike is an umbrella term that alludes to individuals that were alloted male upon entering the world however relate to gentility. Non-binary, gender-fluid, and transgender individuals are all included in this category.

According to Webber, “she took me aside and said she’d been thinking about what we could do next and asked if I’d be interested in captaining an all trans masc team” after the all trans feminine team played their game and I played with the all gender team.

“I thought it was a great idea because I was the only transmasc player on the all-gender team, and there was a need for more trans men to be represented,” I said.

Hurt excessively’

Webber was delighted by the response to his social media call for trans men who want to play soccer, specifically on Twitter.

Ash Palmisciano, who plays the first transgender character in the long-running soap opera “Emmerdale” and drove all the way from Leeds to London just to play the match, soon made up the full 11-a-side team.

Webber is hopeful for the future of trans representation in soccer, both at the grassroots level and beyond, thanks to the match’s positive reception. At this moment however, Webber doesn’t think the game is doing what’s necessary.

Webber asserts that soccer is not trans-inclusive at the moment. Even in amateur LGBTQ leagues, the majority of teams are comprised of cisgender gay men; there are no transgender players. He stated, “The number of trans people I know who play in LGBTQ clubs I can count on one hand.”

According to Webber, consideration for transgender individuals can frequently be overlooked in soccer.

Webber explained, “For example, clubs will sometimes book venues with only two changing rooms, one for each team that is playing.” However, if a team has players of different genders, such as mixed-gender soccer teams, they might not want to change in the same room as everyone else.

He feels that grassroots soccer, including LGBTQ clubs, actually has a long way to go, thus do the top clubs – like those in the Chief Association. After coming out as transgender, Webber stopped playing soccer and also stopped following the sport. As a result, he didn’t keep up with his favorite Arsenal for many years. He stated that watching soccer while he felt like he couldn’t play simply “hurt too much.”

Presently, he is associated with the North London club’s LGBTQ fan bunch – Gay Gooners – and goes to games at the Emirates arena. Yet, he focuses on that there is something else to be finished by top clubs for their trans allies:

They’re attempting. Webber stated to CNN, “I’ve done a lot of work with Arsenal over the years, and the big clubs have come a long way in including their trans fans.”

But the most important thing is to have transgender people in the rooms where decisions are made. To provide you with the necessary information, someone who is actually impacted by these issues must be present.

On Arsenal’s website, a statement reads, ” Arsenal in the Community has actively fought homophobia and provided education for LGBTQ+ people over the years. Stonewall has provided our community team with training to conduct LGBTQ+ awareness sessions for staff and community groups.

Testing times for trans individuals in sport

The historic March 31 all-trans masc match occurred at a particularly trying time for trans athletes.

Some trans women have been barred from competing in female track and field events by World Athletics pending a new review of their rules. The global governing body of rugby league outlawed transgender women’s participation in women’s international competition in June 2022.

Around the same time, the Worldwide Swimming League (FINA) casted a ballot to endorse another strategy that limits most transsexual competitors from contending in tip top ladies’ aquatics rivalries.

In April 2022, English Cycling prohibited trans and non-double riders from contest.

At the moment, many trans people feel excluded from sports.

When World Athletics made its announcement in March, trans runner CeCe Telfer said she felt “devastation” for herself and “for many around the world” in an exclusive interview with CNN. However, Telfer made it abundantly clear that she would not be stopped from running.

Telfer told CNN’s Amanda Davies, “There’s a place for each and every one of us, and I know where I belong.” I simply believe the world should know that.”

Additionally, trans people’s day-to-day lives are becoming increasingly challenging, particularly in the United Kingdom, just as conditions are becoming more difficult for trans athletes worldwide.

A new Scottish law that would have allowed transgender people in Scotland to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis was stopped in January by the UK government.

In a subsequent tweet, the intervention was referred to as “a full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions on devolved matters” by the then-First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.

Rishi Sunak, who is now Prime Minister, made a Twitter post during the race for the Conservative Party leadership in which he said he would protect “women’s rights.” He also included a link to an article in which an unidentified Sunak ally was quoted as saying the lawmaker was “critical of recent trends to erase women via the use of clumsy, gender-neutral language,” which refers to language that is meant to be inclusive of transgender and non-binary people

Sunak said just a few weeks ago that the government would release new guidelines on whether teachers should tell parents when a child questions their own gender identity.

In April, the Gatekeeper and Shocked revealed that Uniformities Pastor Kemi Badenoch is thinking about correcting the 2010 UK Fairness Act to rethink “sex” to allude explicitly to an individual’s sex doled out upon entering the world – a move that would make it lawful to forbid transsexual individuals from “single-sex” spaces that match a trans individual’s orientation personality.

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