CANADA Trail­blaz­ing hockey star lauds uni­ver­si­ties’ new trans ath­lete pol­icy

Jes­sica Platt, CWHL’s first openly trans­gen­der player, sup­ports the U Sports pol­icy

StarMetro Edmonton - - CANADA - EVAN RAD­FORD STEVE RUS­SELL/TORONTO STAR

CAL­GARY—As a trans­gen­der pro hockey player, Jes­sica Platt has heard it all.

She’s just a man who couldn’t make it on the ice with other men; she’s just look­ing to gain an edge and joined women’s hockey; she’s putting op­po­nents and team­mates at a dis­ad­van­tage be­cause she was born male.

“That’s def­i­nitely way too black and white,” she said.

Now 29 years old, Platt is en­ter­ing her sec­ond full sea­son with the Toronto Furies of the Cana­dian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). She came out pub­licly in Jan­uary this year as the CWHL’s first openly trans­gen­der player.

“It’s a long-term com­mit­ment,” and not just flip­ping a switch, the Sar­nia, Ont., na­tive said of her tran­si­tion from male to fe­male.

Platt spoke with StarMetro to give her sup­port for a new U Sports pol­icy that al­lows trans ath­letes to com­pete on Cana­dian univer­sity sports teams of the gen­der they iden­tify with, even if they aren’t un­der­go­ing hor­mone ther­apy or have had sex re­as­sign­ment surgery.

“The ef­fects that the hor­mones have on you, it’s not just go­ing to go back overnight. If we have a trans woman who’s been tran­si­tion­ing enough and is el­i­gi­ble to play on the women’s team, she’s go­ing to have lower strength, her strength is go­ing to be less than a male coun­ter­part who’s train­ing as well,” she said.

Platt played com­pet­i­tive hockey through­out her child­hood, but quit in her fi­nal year of high school be­cause she was fig­ur­ing out her place as a trans woman in sport.

As a stu­dent at Wil­frid Lau­rier Univer­sity, she didn’t com­pete in sports and in­stead used the time to tran­si­tion to fe­male. It meant she stepped away from hockey for about seven years.

“IT’S A LONG-TERM COM­MIT­MENT.”

READ MORE AT THES­TAR.COM/CAL­GARY

Jes­sica Platt, the first openly trans­gen­der player in the CWHL, greets fans be­fore a Toronto Furies game last year. The CWHL is the high­est level of hockey for women.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.