BOSTON, MA. - A hockey team made up of all transgender and gender non-conforming players had their first match in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Saturday.
Boston Pride Hockey (BPH), New England's premier LGBTQ+ ice hockey organization, is hosting Team Trans during a weekend-long “friendship series” that began November 9 at the Simoni Ice Arena.
Ahead of the match players from the team, which according to the team page includes Harrison Browne, Jessica Platt, Hutch, and Aidan Cleary, took to social media to express their excitement. The team also released shirts, available in two numbered cuts — these numbered cuts replace typically gendered cuts that many (even supposedly genderless) designs find themselves categorized by.
“I’m so excited for this weekend! I’m on my way to Boston to play with @teamtransicehockey in the #friendshipseries with @bostonpridehockey!!” Platt posted to Instagram. “It’s truly a special weekend to be able to play alongside other people like myself. We often feel hostility and are forced to potentially quit playing sports, I get I had to at one point. So to have a series like this is incredible. To few welcomed and included in sport is something that most take for granted.
“Come watch if you like! Donate if you can so more things like this can happen!”
Browne took to Twitter to say that he felt a “sense of belonging.”
“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,” he wrote.
“Team Trans may be the first team entirely made up of trans players, many of whom flew in from across the country and Canada to play in the series,” journalist Katelyn Burns shared in a tweet. “Some of the players said just stepping on the ice alongside an entire roster of trans people was an emotional experience.”
The group’s logo design is similar to the Boston Pride logo, which features a unicorn, although their version includes the colors of the trans flag.
Although Team Trans lost 4-3 against BPH at Saturday's game, there were no hard feelings.
“Hi friends! Uncle k8 here,” one of the team’s nonbinary players wrote. “#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.”
K8 went on to reflect on their experience after the match.
“Look. As a trans person you’re always afraid you’re going to be let down—someone misgendering you, or questioning you, any one of the million things that even well-meaning allies do that make everything just a little heavier, a little harder,” they said. “It’s like carrying a little more weight than anyone else. Just enough to make you a little more tired at the end of the day. And that’s with folks who get it. That doesn’t even get into the constant fear that someone will be unsafe”
K8 continued: “Last night in practice, and at today’s game—in the locker room and on the ice—none of us had to carry that weight. None of us had to prove that we belong. None of us had to worry that we might need to explain ourselves.”
Team Trans next game against BPH is Sunday.