Gabrielle Ludwig is a 50 year old 6’6″ center on the Mission College woman’s basketball team and she last played college basketball 30 years ago, as Robert John Ludwig. Gabrielle was born a man and has shared her amazing journey with USA Today.
Gabrielle was recently cleared to begin participating in games at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. Previously she had only been allowed to practice with her teammates and participate in pregame warm-ups.
Ludwig is glad to be a voice for other transgendered athletes and said this to USA Today:
“If the example I can set for the kids who are transgenders in high school, for the people who hate transgender people and for those learning to deal with transgenders, transsexuals, if they see me as a normal person and we are not the bogeyman and love life and raise kids just like you,” Ludwig says, “maybe some of this mystery of who these people are will be taken away and there can be more blending into society. People are afraid of what they don’t know. I am willing to put myself out there. It was not like that before. It was just about playing basketball. It’s about more because I see an injustice.”
Not everyone is happy about Gabrielle’s journey and she’s had many critics.
A spectator named Lawrenze Thibodeaux said these comments:
“I thought it was ludicrous that she plays at 50,” he says later. “That she used to be a man makes it doubly ludicrous. Damn, people are doing everything nowadays.
“I don’t think a 50-year-old should be out here playing with kids. Whatever she is after I hope she finds it, and I hope people give her a break and not ridicule her. God is the judge. He put her there and he must want her there in that position.”
Gabrielle has faced many forms of discrimination during her journey and her ability to now play in games is the pay off for her hard work.