I am a lifelong Sheffield United supporter having spent my early teenage years on the back of the Kop during the Basset years. I am also a trans woman.
My first memories of Bramall Lane were on the original Kop. We used to stand by the white wall, where when it rained the guttering would overflow and drench us from time to time. My relationship with my beloved club has become somewhat distant in recent years due to me beginning my transition. This was almost three years ago and my anxieties about receiving transphobia at matches has meant that, alas, I have felt unable to attend in person. I am hoping that in time such fears will be overcome and I can again attend to see my beloved team play once more. Being a trans woman in Sheffield is unfortunately still somewhat difficult at times. Only last week I was subjected to a drunken gang of lads in the city centre shouting things at me, I’ve had to learn to not react and just hold my head high like I have a nosebleed (one of my friend’s favourite sayings to me when she sees how these incidents affect me). It took me days to get what these lads had shouted out of my head and build up the courage to leave the house again. While things like that may seem trivial to others, they do have a profound impact on our mental health.
Trans awareness week is of high importance to people such as myself as it gives us an opportunity to express the impact these incidents can have and hopefully this awareness can create a safer environment for people like me in the future.