The National Women’s Hockey League has pledged to protect transgender players following the inclusion of the first transgender player to the team. The policy states that “people designated female at birth, regardless of their gender identity are allowed on the women’s team.” The league “supports athletes choosing to express their gender beyond the binary of female and male.” NWHL based the policy on the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines, which also specifies that trans people do not require surgery to compete on the team of the gender they identify with.
Browne made his debut as a trans player when he scored a goal and the announcer said his name across the loudspeaker. He planned to medically transition after finishing college but put off the decision when the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) was created. Browne has postponed his full transition until he’s finished playing in the NWHL and is yet to change his name legally because of issues surrounding visa’s. The future of his career is uncertain, but the star says he is “not closing the door” on playing in male leagues, depending on how his body changes.