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‘Now it’s the women’ dream’: Mara Gómez on turning into Argentina’s first trans footballer


To get a name as much as your membership’s first staff is each Argentinian boy’s dream. Or so the standard tango goes.

“Now it’s the women’ dream … too,” Mara Gómez, who turned the primary trans footballer to play in a top-flight Argentinian league earlier this week, tells the Guardian. Gómez signed a contract with Villa San Carlos within the just lately professionalized ladies’s Primera División, after years of journeying by way of the beginner leagues.

Gómez’s achievement just isn’t a world first – trans footballers are lively in American Samoa, Spain, Canada and England – nevertheless it is a crucial second in a rustic the place soccer is entwined with nationwide id.

Whereas her debut marks a degree in historical past for Argentinian soccer, the 23-year-old says merely that “the one factor I actually did was play soccer”.

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Her contract with Villa San Carlos was signed in February, Gómez’s debut was delayed as Argentina entered a strict coronavirus lockdown. She was anxious through the delay – “Similar to anybody ready to debut within the first division,” she says. She skilled indoors and went by way of the bureaucratic measures of certifying she might play with Argentina’s FA, which follows Worldwide Olympic Committee tips on trans athletes.

Complying was not a difficulty for Gómez’s although, as she has been present process hormone therapy for a while. “[The AFA] obtained me with respect … the president heard me and so they helped me overcome a previous of ache,” she says.



Mara Gómez: ‘the one factor I actually did was play soccer’. {Photograph}: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

The actual difficulties had been extra private, says Gómez. Whereas the regulation, her membership and the establishments round her had been supportive, it’s Argentina’s tradition that impedes women, trans or not, from taking part in soccer. Only a few years in the past Argentinians didn’t talk about ladies’s soccer in any respect, says Gómez, not to mention focus on alternatives for trans gamers.

“It’s not simply what we wish to do and the gender id legal guidelines that we now have in Argentina, but in addition one’s private fortitude,” she says.

Now she’s residing her dream and is glad to have damaged boundaries. Sadly soccer can nonetheless be a merciless sport: Lanús crushed Villa San Carlos 7-1 in Gómez’s debut.

“It’s not simply in regards to the organic, however in regards to the technical, the tactical, coaching time, years of expertise,” she says. “[The game] simply ran away from us”.



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