Football’s first and only transgender referee, Lucy Clark, 46, took to the pitch on Sunday afternoon for the first time under her new identity.
She was previously known as Nick to the world of soccer and admitted to being nervous about the reaction before she went on the pitch.
“I hope the world accepts me for the person I am.”
Lucy’s decision to live as a woman follows a 30-year gender struggle. She reveals how doubts about her true identity first surfaced when she was a child.
She goes on:
“I knew something wasn’t quite right when I was seven”.
Happily married and with three children, Lucy adds:
“I have kept this secret hidden away most of my life. Now is the time to be ME”.
“Players I can deal with. I can just give red or yellow cards to them. It’s the fans – that’s where the issues could come”.
“I’m preparing myself for the derogatory comments. I don’t want to lose my control and I don’t want to be putting complaints into clubs about the behavior of their fans.”
However, she received massive support on twitter:
A massive moment for football today when Lucy Clark who will be the first ever transgender referee when she walks out to do her very first match! Good luck Lucy you're an inspiration 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 #Footballforeverybody #htafc pic.twitter.com/2IduTgQB62
— RyanHTAFC (@RyanHTAFC21) August 19, 2018
Hopeful that football welcomes Lucy Clark warmly. In the majority, match-going fans in lower leagues are a very friendly bunch, and with family, close pals and the FA supportive, she has a strong support network ⚽️👍 https://t.co/56N4toEJkK
— Jon Holmes (@jonboy79) August 18, 2018
On the other hand, the treatment of transgenders in Pakistan stands in stark contrast to the support Lucy has received.
Another transgender by the name of Muni was killed in the month of May in KPK. This was the latest of several recent attacks on transgender women in the province, the fourth killing in 2018 and the 57th since 2015, according to local activists.
A day will come when the transgender community in Pakistan will be treated the way Lucy is – with respect and support. But today is not that day.