Jessica Platt sharing her story in new hockey book

Sarnia’s Jessica Platt is a groundbreaking transgender athlete, seen here playing with the Toronto Furies. Lori Bolliger Photo

Tara Jeffrey

Jessica Platt is hoping her latest chapter is a bestseller.

That’s because she literally wrote it for a new book.

“It’s really exciting for me, to see my story written in words,” Platt, 31, said about being featured in a new book by famed Canadian broadcasters Bob McKenzie and Jim Lang.

Platt, a Bright’s Grove native who became the first openly transgender woman to play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, is one of several people featured in ‘Everyday Hockey Heroes’ Volume II, due for release in November.

Platt, a former player with the Toronto Furies in the now defunct CWHL, was invited to write her story for a chapter in the book, which highlights those who ‘embody the spirit of the game and help shape its future.’

“At first I didn’t really know what to think — I’d never thought about writing my story in a book,” said the St. Christopher Secondary grad. But the editors with publishing company Simon & Schuster worked with her to craft the final product.

“To have someone giving me feedback, and writing it how I felt it would come across best, and be best understood in story form — it was a really cool experience.”

Sarnia’s Jessica Platt.
Heather Pollock Photo

Platt grew up in the minor hockey system in Sarnia before heading to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

She began to medically transition in 2012 and officially ‘came out’ as a transgender woman via an Instagram post in 2018, flanked by support from her family, teammates and the entire league.

She has since become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ athletes around the world.

“I just want people to see that I’m a person; that I love hockey,” said Platt, who lives and works in Kitchener, where you’ll find her running, working out, and hitting the ice whenever she can.

“I’m hoping other transgender athletes and transgender people can identify with my story and see that things weren’t always easy for me.

“I want people to see that, once you’re through all the darkness and negativity, you can have a life that you’ve really dreamed of.”

She’s also hoping her chapter can be an educational tool.

“I’m hoping that people, particularly cisgender, straight men who may come across my story, will read it with an open mind, and learn more about transgender athletes,” she said.

“Because so many of them have these preconceived notions that trans women have all these unfair advantages — which they do not.”