Trans Pro Football Player Finds Courage & Community in Sports

| December 20, 2017

By Cyd Zeigler @ Outsports:

“Sports have been a constant throughout Britney Stinson’s life. The transgender professional football player, who played with the boys in high school and now plays on women’s teams, has found a much-needed community no matter what sport she’s taken a swing at.

“A topsy-turvy family life sent Stinson to five different Orlando-area high schools as a teenager. Adopted by her grandparents as a child — “They were like my parents” — she lost them both before moving in with her biological father. That didn’t go well, and she ran away to Seattle before returning to the area.

“Her life in flux kept her on the move as a youth. She played football at four of her high schools, settling in at fullback and linebacker. She also played baseball and basketball, always on the boys teams.

“Sports were my escape,” Stinson told Outsports from her home in Orlando. “I was also pretty good at it. That was how I made friends in school. I would act like this jock sports guy, and that would help my persona. When I was playing I was just having fun. I used it as a mask.”

“Yet even as she was making hits as the tough athlete on the field, she was privately exploring her gender identity. She found her escape online in chat rooms and message boards. There she was just Britney, the girl behind the keyboard. It was liberating for her. Even if it was in her own room, online she became her true self.

“She met people across the Internet from all walks of life, some of them in Orlando. A few times she even took her father’s truck and went to meet them, presenting as Britney just as the blossoming athlete had always wanted. It was empowering.


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