Transgender student joins boys baseball team for first time


Blake Heuertz, 12, plays catch with one of his teammates to warm up on Mar. 18, 2019. Photo by Jessica Stacy

Jessica Stacy, Sports Writer

Blake Heuertz, a transgender boy, is a senior on the Omaha North baseball team. This is his first year on the team and although he is nervous, he feels welcome.

“It’s still the beginning of the season but yes, I feel welcome. I knew a few people walking into it. Everybody is very nice,” Heuertz said about the atmosphere of the team.

He thought about joining the team in years before but, “I wanted to wait until I got my name [legally] changed before I played any sports.”

Heuertz used to play other sports when he was younger such as: little league, taekwondo, kick boxing, track, and soccer, but now just does show choir.

“I don’t know if you count that as a sport, but I’ve done show choir since sophomore year,” Heuertz said.

Nebraska Schools Activities Association (NSAA) requires that, as a transgender male, he must fill out a form in order to play for his preferred gender team.

When he first joined show choir, since it is a gender-neutral activity, there was no process and no forms that he had to fill out, as opposed to the 4-page form he had to fill out in order to play baseball.

“I had to fill out a 4-page form with doctors and letters from teachers and my parents saying that I dress like a male, have all the male intentions, and that I’m on hormones,” Heuertz said.

The process for a transgender athlete to play they’re preferred gender sport is very intense especially if their parents are not
supportive of them being transgender.

According to NSAA rules, student athletes cannot use their gender preferred locker room unless they have gone through a gender reassignment surgery.

“I change in the back of the auditorium where there are private bathrooms,” Heuertz said.