There are 4,082 people in Lincolnshire who identify as trans, non-binary, or a gender they weren’t assigned at birth and many of them feel excluded from football.
A study by Mermaids, a charity supporting transgender people, found 52% feel their gender identity has impacted them taking part in sport, and a third are worried about taking part in sport because of negative media coverage.
Jordan Mason, Lincolnshire Football Association Development Officer (Disability & Inclusion) said: “There is a lack of education and understanding around transgender people, 99% just want to play football for fun but at the minute the discussion is all about elite sport which excludes people at a grassroots level.”
Lincolnshire FA said 50% of LGBTQ people in Lincolnshire have witnessed transphobia in sport and 20% have experienced it.
Jamie Town, Horncastle U15 girl’s manager said: “The fear of being found out as transgender if they are not fully open or being judged due to experiences of school sports plays a really big role in trans people not playing football.”
The Football Association’s transgender policy allows any trans girl or boy to play until the age of 18. When they turn 18 if they have transitioned from a boy to a girl, they need to undergo a medical to see if they meet the required testosterone levels to continue playing.
Mr Mason said: “Is it appropriate for the FA to force a transgender person to go through a medical screening to be allowed to play low-level football?”