Kayla Ward is trying to become the first trans woman in the WNBA.
Ward knew she was a girl when she was around 6-years-old and she spent 30 years of her life running away from her feelings. Now she is done running from her feelings and she is trying to make history.
One night, while watching SportsCenter (as I did every night religiously,) I saw a few Top 10 highlights of WNBA plays and I immediately began to daydream about being in the league and in those highlights. I started watching WNBA games regularly and would go to the basketball court immediately after to work on my game. Knowing most professional athletes begin to retire at my current age, I realized this was likely only going to be a daydream. Then one night, I discovered Sue Bird, my favorite WNBA player, was actually a bit older than me and she still dominates… (I’m not saying or implying I am or could ever be as good as her, one could wish!) It did, however, give me hope that I could pursue my dream, even at my age.
Realistically, it may be too late for me to pursue a professional career in basketball, but I’m going to try anyway because it’s not just about me anymore. I decided from day one of my transition to share my story online and to be as vocal as possible so I could help educate, encourage, and inspire. I know that it’s doubtful I’ll make it onto a WNBA team but if I can help create the policy that allows other trans athletes the freedom to pursue their dreams, then I consider that a success and is the biggest reason I want to try out for a team. I want to be the visible role model for others that I didn’t have.
Flip to the next page to see her working out in the gym.