Former Nigerian Footballer Iyabo Abade/JJ discusses his life as a Trans Man in Nigeria.
Iyabo Abade, who now goes by James Johnson, or JJ, successfully underwent a sex change in the United States about nine years ago and in a recent interview with Punch, he opened up about his struggles and admits that he is still battling to adjust to life as a man. See interview below:
Now that you are a man, has it been easy playing men’s football?
I thank God for how far He has brought me. I have made every effort to get to the top as a footballer but there is no support from anywhere, even the Nigeria Football Federation. I am just trying on my own to get to the top but it hasn’t been easy. You go for trials and you do well and you are recruited but after sometime, they will start acting funny; they use my past against me. I try to ensure that I don’t let clubs know who I am. I don’t like telling them that I am the former Iyabo Abade; I have to go there like every other normal player and fight for a place in the team. But when they hear that former Iyabo Abade has signed for either Crown FC or Plateau United, they start discriminating against me. Meanwhile I got there as James Johnson but they keep asking, “Can she cope in the midst of guys?” They have forgotten that I am a man and I met their requirements before they signed me up. Once they now know my past, they won’t allow me to play anymore. Were they blind when they signed me? With that, I feel frustrated and discriminated against so I decided that there was no need disturbing myself and I decided to quit. I am praying that God helps me so that I can continue my career abroad. I think things will be better over there
Read the Full Interview here.