Kenny Cooley says he hopes being open about his experiences encourages young trans and LGBTQ kids to join in sports.
A stack of practice football gear might be made of padding and a jersey, but Kenny Cooley sees a milestone.
Cooley, a trans Grade 12 student at Halifax West High School and rookie football player, stepped out onto the field Monday night in his first game as wide receiver, his dad and girlfriend waving from the stands.
Although the 17-year-old said he loves the adrenaline of the game, fear almost kept him from signing up for tryouts last June – he was worried about any barriers, and how the team would feel about him.
“I was was super nervous and shaky. I mean you’re going into a group of guys that are a lot bigger than you,” Cooley said Monday at lunch time in the high school’s library, wearing the Warriors football jersey for game day.
“Then you get to know them and … they’re all open and just caring. They all just treat me as one of the guys.”
Halifax trans football player says ‘media attention’ a reason for McDonald’s firing
Kenny Cooley says he was caught off guard over decision after making headlines for suiting up with Halifax West Warriors.
A Halifax high school football player who made headlines around North America for being the first trans player on his team says he was let go from McDonald’s, partly due to that media attention.
Halifax LGBTQ group calls alleged firing of trans teen from McDonald’s ‘discrimination,’ asks for apology
Kenny Cooley says he was let go from a Bedford McDonald’s in part due to ‘media attention’ he’s received.
Kate Shewan, executive director of the Youth Project, said she knows the company has individual franchise owners, but it’s important for the corporation to say “this is not great, it will affect our reputation world-wide.”