CANADA Trailblazing hockey star lauds universities’ new trans athlete policy
Jessica Platt, CWHL’s first openly transgender player, supports the U Sports policy
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.”
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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.