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This Portland youth soccer coach came out as transgender to his young playersby Jean-Sun Ahn
Sex & Relationships

WATCH |  In sports, rules define the game and in a sense they also define the players. Kaig Lightner, a youth soccer coach in Portland, Oregon came out to his young players that he was transgender. 

Last week during practice, Lighter decided he wanted his players to know his secret. The moment was captured by one of his fellow coaches and has since garnered more than 50,000 views in less than a week. 

“There's been comments from the kids like, "This is really cool." "Glad you did that. Let's go play soccer." They're focused on soccer -- that's what they want to go do; everything else is just details.”, he said.  

Lighter was born a girl but never quite felt he fit the stereotypical mold and was bullied when he was younger because he just looked different and didn't look like other girls. He expressed the anxiety of conforming to gender norms put him over the edge and in his late 20s, he decided to transition.

“I'm such a happier, more relaxed, confident, less anxious person,” he said. “I feel like I can be more successful in the world because I can just live," he said. 

He said sharing his secret with his teams tied the last loose end in his life. Now he can live life authentically, both on and off the practice fields.  

“At the end of the day, they see me as their coach, and that's great,” he said.


Coach Lightner explained that since the video went viral he has been gaining overwhelming support from both parents and strangers. Below, you can watch the full video.