International day of trans visibility | “I not only fought to play soccer but also for my identity”, says Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo is 20 years old, he is from Gualeguaychú, and since childhood his dream had always been to play in a men’s soccer league. A few months ago, he joined the Unión del Suburbio team where he plays as 9 in the reserve. He is the oldest of five brothers and believes that the support of his family was key to being free. “Since I can remember, I knew what I wanted. The memories I have as a boy are playing ball,” he tells in dialogue with Todes Nosotres.

At 17, Marcos told his parents and siblings who he was. At 18, he made the rectification of the birth certificate and obtained his new ID with his identity self-perceived gender. It was his mother Norma who insisted that he do so.

Marcos Rojo in a training session in Gualeguaychú. (Photo: Courtesy Marcos Rojo).

From his hometown, he spoke with our community to celebrate the visibility, the rights recognized from the implementation of the Gender Identity Law and everything that is still missing so that trans people can live with full recognition as citizens. “Today is a day to celebrate achievements beyond difficulties. To celebrate our lives and that people become aware of the discrimination that continues to exist against the trans community, “he remarks.

His start in men’s soccer was not easy: “When I started playing -in another club- the first few days everything was fine but later, in the friendlies they separated me; and when I left the field they made discriminatory comments, that’s why I I took a while. ”

During that break, he met his friend Coty -Anabella Sarza- sports journalist and soccer player, with whom he is part of the group. “Let’s play for equality”. She was in charge of speaking with the president of Unión del Suburbio, Sebastián Rajoy, and with Osvaldo Fernández, the technical director. Finally, on January 22 of this year and after a season without playing, Marcos joined the squad, with the Sub 20, the Reserve of the First.

Marcos with his friend Coty, who helped him fulfill his dream. (Photo: Courtesy Marcos Rojo).
Marcos with his friend Coty, who helped him fulfill his dream. (Photo: Courtesy Marcos Rojo).

On days like today, Marcos highlights the importance of sharing his story, because in his, Mara Gómez- the trans soccer player from Villa San Carlos, was essential. “Sometimes it is scary to confront the family or tell who we are, but when I saw that Mara was playing, I felt it was possible and that’s why I was encouraged.

Regarding the club and his teammates, Marcos feels accepted: “I have played unofficial games and I feel the support of them and the coaching staff.”

Rojo’s message is clear and he hopes it reaches all the boys and girls who have not yet been able to tell their families and friends about their self-perceived gender identity. “Cheer up. It’s scary out there at first but when you do what you love is the best thing that can happen to you. It is very important to do what you feel beyond what others say. “

On a day like this, in 2009, Rachel Crandall, co-founder of the Transgender Michigan organization, launched the initiative to establish March 31 as a Trans Visibility Day all over the world to raise awareness and be a day of reflection on the living conditions of this community.

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