Offensive Guard Playing Defense against SD Legislators

Wilka started playing quarterback but since moved to offensive guard. Now he's on the defense asking South Dakota legislators to just let him play.

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KOTV News reports he’s been playing football for the last five years, first as a quarterback and now as a play guard. To him, it’s more than just a game.

“It is everything to me. I mean if football didn’t exist I don’t think I would be here honestly because it has saved my life, I will not lie it has,” says Wilka.

While the sport has helped Wilka thrive and create new friendships, that wasn’t always the case.

His last school wouldn’t let him play because he is transgender, they feared he would confuse the other players.

Now, Wilka’s supported not only by his new school but also by his teammates.

“About two weeks ago I told them that I was transgender because I wanted to tell them personally before anything got out and they were like ‘dude that’s so cool, that’s amazing and I was like woo, that is not expected,” says Wilka.

Now Wilka’s tackling a new opponent, the South Dakota State legislature and a bill aimed directly at transgender students.

He went on the defense in front of legislators in Pierre and the seventh-grader has a message for everyone in the Mount Rushmore State.

I’ll be me and you be you.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender