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My experience as a transgender fan

I’ve been a Blade right from day one. When I was born, I had to leave the hospital in a ‘baby Blade’ hat because no other hat would fit my head.

I went to my first match with my Dad on my 4th birthday. (We lost 3-1 to Norwich but it didn’t stop me coming back!) I got a season ticket when I was 6 and I still sit in the same seat today. For as long as I can remember, watching the Blades has been my happy place.

I came out as transgender boy as a teenager and for a while, I worried that my happy place wouldn’t be welcoming to me anymore. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My season ticket was the first thing I ever changed my name on officially. The staff at the box office were so kind and sorted my new card with no fuss. On my 18th birthday, I got my first shirt with my name on and it’s still the best present I’ve ever been given.

My love for the Blades hasn’t changed since my transition. I still go through the joys (and heartbreaks) like every other fan. The only difference is that now: I’m a Blades Man, from the Lane.

Ash Jayy Simmons-Black, Rainbow Blades member.

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