Transgender striker Mara Gomez on December 7 realized the dream of playing professionally after a long struggle.
In January 2020, Gomez signed a contract with Villa San Carlo, the club of the Argentine women’s league. However, as a transgender, the 23-year-old striker cannot play for this club.
The picture of Mara Gomez standing next to another rookie, Ludmila Angeli, on the club’s website became a hot topic in the country of tango. Local media said the transfer was a historic event when for the first time a female transgender player played in an official Argentina Football Federation tournament.
After 11 months of fighting, Gomez convinced the Argentine Football Federation to accept that her being a transgender did not bring physical injustice or strength to female colleagues. Specifically, a blood test showed that the testosterone level of Gomez met the standard for a female athlete.
On November 28, AFA approved her to play in the women’s league in Argentina. Gomez then kicked his debut with Villa San Carlos on December 7, but lost to rival Lanus with a strong score of 1-7.
However, Gomez could not hide his joy with this pitch. She was even prepared by teammates for the number 10 shirt, the number of the idol Diego Maradona’s shirt.
This is a long road, full of troubles and worries. One of her life’s greatest goals was accomplished. The striker also thanked Villa San Carlos for giving her the opportunity to play professionally.
At a women’s tournament in La Plata, she showed high performance and continuously scored goals, thereby attracting the attention of professional football team Villa San Carlos.
In South America, Argentina is a leader in the recognition of transgender identities. They passed the law in 2012, allowing people like Gomez to change their citizenship sex when they turn 18. In this country, the life expectancy of transgender people is only 32 to 40.