Trans hockey player kissed by her former college teammates

It was in 2020 that I finally came out of the closet after three years on estrogen. I made a post on Facebook detailing my gender identity and that my name was now Charlotte. And I was looking forward to playing hockey again, one of my passions since I was a child and which led me to play hockey for the men’s club team at Old Dominion University.

Although I didn’t lace up my skates and play again until March 2022 due to pandemic concerns, when I finally started playing I decided the best decision for me was to be so openly queer. as possible, and not to try to hide my identity or fit in. I needed to be myself for my own good, no matter how hard it was going to be.

Donning pink duct tape on my stick and a “Hockey is for Everyone” pride sticker on my helmet, I started playing a few pickup games at Chilled Ponds – the local rink based in Chesapeake, Va. . I started seeing some of my old teammates in college and was very scared of how they would react to seeing me there. I assumed they had already heard of my coming out.

At first I just tried to avoid them out of fear. At one point one of my old college teammates came across the bench and sat down next to me and started to strike up a conversation – I think he could tell I was nervous. He first asked me if I was going through Charlotte now. He then said it was not for him to judge, and he made a conscious effort to use the correct name and pronouns.

I was surprised. It turned out that all my previous fears were unfounded. After the game, I went to see my old teammates and we hung out like the good old days. I didn’t want to be perceived as different. I was still the same person, but now I just had the words to say I was transgender. It felt like nothing had changed between me and my teammates – there was still the same respect – and that’s all I ever wanted.

Hockey has always been a big part of my life. As the child of a Boston Bruins fan father and a figure skater mother, I picked up a hockey stick for the first time at age 2 and took up ice skating. is 6 years old. I played at the Peninsula Prowl Hockey Club when I was 14. I played both goalkeeper and winger.

It was around this time that I realized something was different about me compared to my peers. I started to recognize that I suffered from gender dysphoria.

At first, I didn’t really know what to do about it. Society had programmed me to believe that I was a man simply because of the parts of my body that I had. It took me years to question my gender before I finally did something about it.

It culminated in me screaming and crying, looking at myself in the mirror and knowing that I hated how I looked and how people interacted with me. At this point, I had decided that I had to do something about it and start trying to rectify my gender dysphoria. I started seeing a therapist who specialized in gender identity issues.

I felt lost with what to do about my gender identity. Later, I contacted another hockey player, Harrison Browne, the first openly transgender athlete in a professional team sport. I had asked about coming out and how to come out and be an openly transgender athlete. He told me that “there is always light at the end of the tunnel”, and that there were days when he questioned himself. He advised me to take each day in stride, using it as an opportunity to discover who I really am.

I started playing collegiate hockey for Old Dominion University in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Division III in the fall of 2014. I served as the team’s backup goaltender during my freshman season. After our starting goaltender left the team, I was on the verge of becoming the next starter. However, my fifth concussion derailed my competitive career and I never played another game for the team.

Finally feeling free from my fears of being out, I took the opportunity to start playing in the adult league again at Chilled Ponds as a forward. Playing hockey again is great and nothing is more enjoyable than scoring goals. I can’t wait to score my first goal again. It’s been a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

For any athlete struggling to come out or find their identity, nothing will be more enjoyable than lifting that weight off your shoulders. You can’t feel free unless you tap into yourself and discover what makes you happy one step at a time. It can be a long journey. Connect with people along the way who can help you – you won’t be alone, even if you sometimes feel like you will.

Charlotte Jobe played ice hockey for Old Dominion University from 2014 to 2016 and came out as transgender after her competitive career ended. She holds a degree in Applied Mathematics. She can be reached at charlotterosejobe@gmail.com

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Catherine J. Martinez