Harrison Browne a professional Hockey player with the Buffalo Beauts came out as transgender Friday, announcing what his teammates already knew and embraced. Harrison made history by becoming the first male to play in a woman’s hockey league. Harrison said he had one wish and that was to hear his authentic name and gender announced during a game. He had his dream realized in a big way Friday.
— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) October 7, 2016
The former UMaine Women’s Hockey Player had made his gender known in college to his team and coaches but after coming out to his family he wanted the rest of the world to know. Harrison wrote:
My teammates and coaches with the Beauts have been amazing. Most of them have known me as Harrison for a while now. The only thing that’s changed is that it’s more public now. (Okay, maybe a lot more public.) If I can be a role model for anyone like me, that’s a role I will embrace. But when all is said and done, I’m still Brownie: hockey player, teammate, friend, fan of the game.
Brownie’s implicit acceptance from fans and team and the National Women’s Hockey League is an inspiration which brings tears to this trans athlete’s eyes.
— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) October 8, 2016
The Ice Garden published his comming out letter….
To the Staff and Readers of The Ice Garden,
Hey, it’s Brownie – number 24 on the Buffalo Beauts. Congratulations on the launch of this new site. We really appreciate the coverage of our game. I’m sure you hockey fans love it, too.
You may have heard by now that I have some news of my own. Beginning today – the start of the 2016-17 National Women’s Hockey League season – I’m making official what has been part of my life for a few years now. I’m Harrison. I’m a “he.” As in “Harrison Browne made a good pass for the primary assist on that goal by the Beauts.” Or “He really lost his check on that one,” haha.
A few weeks ago, I made an official request to the league. Below is a part of the original email I sent to the NWHL Commissioner, Dani Rylan. I’m sharing it with you so my plan and wishes are clear.
“I am interested in coming out in the league as transgender. I will not be legally changing my name or beginning a physical transition until after I conclude my career in the NWHL. I will be playing in the exact condition that I did last season, just under a new name while using male pronouns. I would feel most comfortable being addressed via the media, roster, during games, and any PR as Harrison Browne versus Hailey Browne along with using all male pronouns versus female pronouns.”
The Commissioner immediately responded that all would be taken care of, and made it clear that the league office had my unconditional support. That was so nice to hear. Thank you, Dani, and everyone in the league office.
I’d also like to thank Chris Mosier from the You Can Play Project for his guidance throughout. My teammates and coaches with the Beauts have been amazing. Most of them have known me as Harrison for a while now. The only thing that’s changed is that it’s more public now. (Okay, maybe a lot more public.) If I can be a role model for anyone like me, that’s a role I will embrace. But when all is said and done, I’m still Brownie: hockey player, teammate, friend, fan of the game.
So it’s Game On tonight in Buffalo against the defending champion Boston Pride. I hope you’ll follow the Beauts all season long and support all of the players in this incredible league.
October 7, 2016
Harrison said in his email that he would be ‘playing in the exact same condition that he did last season’. His love for the sport comes as a price. Harrison says he will wait until after hockey to begin medical transition in an interview with ‘Puck Daddy’.
Q. Why are you waiting until after your career ends to make the medical transition?
BROWNE: Because I wouldn’t be able to play. It’s a performance enhancer, testosterone. I played in college and NCAA rules were that I couldn’t have any [added] testosterone in my body. I just assumed the NWHL would have the same kind of thing.
It’s always been that after I finish hockey then I’ll begin my physical transition.
Q. Is it difficult for you to know you have to wait to make the full transition just because you know you love playing a sport so much?
BROWNE: Yeah, it is hard. It’s obviously not hard when I’m at the rink because I’m just ‘Brownie’ and nothing else really matters, like gender. You don’t really think of societal views.
It’s mostly when I’m outside of the rink and I’m in public and I’m being referred to as ‘she’ by a waitress. I have to go into a different bathroom. That kind of stuff is hard, but it’s manageable.
I’ve been doing it my whole life, so why not delay it a little longer. If I can play professional sports, I want to do it as long as I can.”
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) October 8, 2016