A British soccer team made up entirely of transmasculine players made its historic debut last week against an all-cisgender male team.
Over 500 fans cheered on TRUK United FC from the sidelines, and it all took place on March 31, the Transgender Day of Visibility.
Trans players across a range of experience and abilities (many of whom had never met until the match) traveled from all over the United Kingdom to take part in the groundbreaking match, player and author Harry Nicholas told Pink News.
“There was such a range of talent, experiences, and nationalities on the pitch, but the one thing that united us all was that we thought there was no place for us in football as trans men, and this event changed that.”
Nicholas also expressed hope “that trans kids see this and know there is a place for them in sport. That it is possible.”
Photos from the match depict the TRUK players drenched in sweat and smiles, emitting radiant joy as they sport uniforms in the colors of the trans flag.
According to the club, one photo reached over 4 million views on Twitter, which it said: “This beats 99% of all premier leagues club views.”
“I’ve never felt a sense of community and joy quite like it before – we were playing a sport we love and owning it,” Nicholas said.
TRUK lost to Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters with a score of eight to one. But Nicholas emphasized that the point of the night was never the outcome.
“The score didn’t matter at the beginning and it didn’t matter at the end. This was not about winning or proving ourselves against a cis team. The real win was always that we walked out onto the pitch, played, we’re visible, and we’ve reclaimed our place in football.”
The team’s captain, Arthur Webber, tweeted that he is “so proud” of his role on the team. “It was such a special night,” he wrote, “thank you to the boys for being incredible and to all our supporters!”
Webber also noted that he has already heard from dozens of players interested in joining the team and is encouraging anyone who wants to know more to get in touch.
Even the team’s opponents have been celebrating them.
In response to an anti-trans tweet, one Dulwich player wrote, “As a player on the opposition team Friday night I genuinely haven’t ever played against a group so cohesively together and enjoy their football so much as @Trukunitedfc. Best of luck for the future and don’t let these dinosaurs try & stop you from playing the game you love!”
Another TRUK team made up of trans women played its own historic match on last year’s Transgender Day of Visibility. The club was founded in 2021 by Lucy Clark, the world’s first out trans referee for the sport.