Luna Volperossa’s journey into rugby, which began approximately a year and a half ago in a Milwaukee recreational league, has been marked by a positive and affirming experience. The sport not only introduced her to fantastic teammates and athletes but also provided a space where she felt accepted and supported after coming out as transgender. Despite growing up without feeling comfortable participating in traditional male sports, Volperossa found a sense of belonging and camaraderie in women’s rugby.
The acceptance she received from her teammates upon sharing her transgender identity was a powerful and affirming moment for Volperossa. Contrary to the argument that transgender participation might detract from women’s sports, she emphasized the inclusive and supportive environment within her team. Her teammates’ reactions, marked by hugs and declarations of acceptance, stood in contrast to concerns about the impact of transgender inclusion on sports.
As Wisconsin considers legislation that could restrict transgender athletes’ participation in youth sports at publicly funded schools, Volperossa spoke out against such restrictions. The proposed bills, having passed the assembly and currently under consideration in the state Senate, have prompted broader discussions on the intersection of gender identity and sports. Luna Volperossa’s experience with rugby has been transformative and, in her words, “the most gender-affirming experience” of her life. She underscored the importance of allowing all children, regardless of gender identity, to enjoy the numerous benefits and confidence-building aspects of participating in sports.