June 28, 2024

Ottawa Pride Hockey was founded in 2020 and is Ottawa’s inclusive hockey association, founded and run by queer and trans individuals. They offer league play, pick up games and a skills program. Their mission is to promote a safer and inclusive space for everyone to play. Beginners and seasoned pros of all ages are welcome! Visit them at their website or @ottawapridehockey on Instagram.

We caught up with Ottawa Pride Hockey co-founder, Kat Ferguson(they/them.


Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself

A: I’m a 45 year old trans masc person who has played hockey their whole life. I grew up playing girls and boys hockey and felt comfortable in both spaces. I began my physical transition in my mid-30’s and I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by a very supportive hockey community. Along with Ottawa Pride Hockey, I continue to play with my 35+ Masters Competitive women’s team who has become like family to me, along with all the other folks in the league.

Starting Ottawa Pride Hockey

I co-founded Ottawa Pride Hockey 4 years ago with the leadership of my friend and teammate Alex Vincent. We recognized a need for the group within our community after playing in a friendship series in Boston with their local queer team and Team Trans, which is an international collective of transgender and gender non-conforming hockey players.

While I never felt like I needed that space necessarily, the event in Boston was an eye opening experience as I was able to see first hand the impact that homophobia and transphobia in sport had on so many of my teammates. While some had quit hockey due to it being a toxic and hostile environment for them, others never even considered playing in fear for their emotional and physical well-being.

For me personally, it made me realize how freeing it was to not have to worry about what others might think of me and body (especially in a locker room setting). I was able to focus on playing the sport I love and nothing else for the first time in many years. When we can bring our full selves to the ice, we’ll be better players, teammates and people.

Q: Why would you encourage others to get involved in Ottawa Pride Hockey?

A: We’re really proud to have created an inclusive hockey club for the Ottawa community. No matter what sexuality or gender identity, you are welcome. We offer programming for all levels, from beginners to seasoned vets and all ages are welcome!

We even have several allies that play with us and they have shared that they have more fun with our group than others. Some of our straight cis-male teammates noted that they too are thankful for a space free of toxic masculinity which has created a poor experience for them in “traditional” hockey environments as well.

Aside from the hockey, we’ve all made new connections and friendships through the club. It’s provided a sense of community for myself and many others and has been a great way to meet like minded folks!


Q: In your opinion, how could the hockey community work on becoming more inclusive?

A: It needs to start at the grassroots level. League organizers, volunteers, coaches, parents and referees need to be on board with inclusive policies and the enforcement of those policies. If you hear homophobic or transphobic language, you need to speak out and not stay silent. Being an ally is an action, not an identity. And hire educators if your organization is struggling. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of education!

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