Mara Gomez has become the first transgender woman to play professional football in Argentina after making her Villa San Carlos debut. The 23-year-old told : “When I started out, football was a therapy for me and I couldn’t think it was possible to dream or consider playing in the top division”.
She has spent the past 11 months trying to convince the Argentine Football Association that she does not have an unfair advantage over her opponents. She was recently granted approval and finally made her long-awaited debut against Lanus on Monday. She must also submit to testosterone measurements at the start and in the middle of the championship, to remove any suspicion of an athletic disparity with the other players. She made a further statement on Instagram, saying: “It wasn’t magic, it wasn’t a gift, it wasn’t easy. There was a life of fighting, suffering and sadness. Gomez had been playing in the Platense Football League for Las Malvinas, before the AFA were satisfied she had acceptable testosterone levels in her blood.