By Ross Forman
Originally published on Advocate.com July 29 2009 12:00 AM ET
One of the top players here in the men's soccer tournament at the second World Outgames is a former professional for the Pumas UNAM of Mexico City. But that was years ago, and now Miranda Salman, 40, is one of perhaps three transgender athletes competing among about 4,500 in this 34-sport event.
This is her Outgames debut, "because I did not know about these in the past." Salman, who is now a massage therapist, has been playing soccer for 35 years. When asked her former name, Salman declined to answer.
"I have a responsibility; I want to help change the impression people have of transgender people," Salman said through a teammate/interpreter. "In Mexico, trans people are often thought to just be prostitutes. But, by participating in these kinds of games and events, I'm trying to show the real me. And my true, true gender is a woman."
Salman has played matches on male and female teams here, though organizers told her she cannot compete on both, so she just played with the men's team, "though playing [games] with the women's team just felt right." She's scored several goals on each team.
"I'm really, really proud to be one of the few trans people in the Outgames; I know I'm the only one playing [soccer]."
Advocate.com: What do you do for fun away from the soccer field?Miranda Salman: Dancing.
What music do you listen to before a game?The theme from the movie Rocky .
How did you feel marching in with the rest of Team Mexico, sporting traditional red and green attire, during the Outgames opening ceremony?It was sensational.
Read our Outgames interviews with The Volleyballer and The Runner .