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Triumphs and hardships as pro hockey’s 1st openly transgender woman –

Posted: November 16, 2020 at 8:57 am

As a child growing up in Brights Grove, Ont., Jessica Platt lived for hockey. For her, being on the ice was "when everything made sense."

But off the ice, it was a different story.

For years, Platt struggled with feeling as though she didn't fit in with the other boys, and hated being in the locker room.

By her teens, she would leave the game she loved, and nearlyseven years would pass before she played hockey again.

Platt, now of Kitchener, Ont., shares hertriumphs and struggles in a chapter of the new book, Everyday Hockey Heroes Volume II, by sports journalists Bob McKenzie and Jim Lang. Platt is the author ofthe chapter titled 'Simply A Hockey Player'.

"It took a lot for me to share my story like this," Platt told CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive. "I typically like to focus on the positive aspects, but I had to highlight some of the negative things that I had been through in my life and had to overcome. So it was difficult to write it."

In the book, Platt looks back on the seven years she spent away from hockey. She moved from Brights Groveto Waterloo, Ont. for university, but not before undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The physical changes that accompanied the therapy meant a significant loss in her athletic ability.

"A lot of people think that to be a transgender woman playing sportsyou just simply have to identify as a woman," Platt said. "But at the elite levels, you have to undergo medical intervention. And the lack of testosterone in your bodydefinitely decreases your speed, your strength, pretty much everything. You have to get used to a new normal."

After beginning hormone replacement therapy and eventually transitioning her gender, Platt played professional for the Toronto Furies of the now-defunct Canadian Women's Hockey League team.

In 2018, she became the first openly transgender woman in North American professional hockey.

Despite having supportive teammates who she could trust, Platt reflected on the nerve-wracking experience of coming out to coaches, staff, and eventually the entire league.

"Absolutely terrifying," Platt recalled of the experience."I was petrified to potentially feel like I didn't belong in the dressing room again, like I had fought so long for growing up."

"But thankfully, I got nothing but positive responses and support from my teammates and my coaches. And that was truly incredible."

The book Everyday Hockey Heroes Volume IIwas released earlier this week by Simon & Schuster. Take a listen belowto Afternoon Drive'sfull interview with Jessica Platt.

Afternoon Drive8:24Transgender hockey player shares experience in new book

Triumphs and hardships as pro hockey's 1st openly transgender woman -

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