Joan’s Story

Handball had a profound impact on my life. The realization that I am trans and a man comes from handball. Without this sport I would not have ended up in sports school, where the atmosphere is very open and I was able to meet another trans person for the first time. I don’t know when I would have realized it otherwise.

Sport shapes you as a person and makes you question yourself. You have to structure your life, balance school and sports, and schedule your free time. You learn fair play and how to play together with others. Especially as a goalkeeper, you have to teach yourself a lot of things because there aren’t many goalie coaches. You learn to assess yourself and push yourself to your limits.

I’m currently playing in the women’s first league. For the next season, I’m switching to the men’s team in the third league. My club thinks the third league is a good start, so that I have time to adjust to my transitioning process. I think it’s good how the club is handling it. If I feel underchallenged, I can always do a training session with another team. I would love to start hormone therapy right away, but then I won’t be allowed to play with the women’s team anymore. My parents taught me to finish what you start, so I’m ending the season with the women. That makes it easier for them, too, because the goalie position is not so easy to replace. Staying with the women until the last game will give me closure. I will miss the team. But I’m also looking forward to playing with the men, although they shoot harder and don’t aim as well as the women. A new adventure begins!

Photo above: Handballverein Herzogenbuchsee

Photo: KTV Visp
Photo: KTV Visp
Photo: Handballverein Herzogenbuchsee