Skip to content
Sign up for latest news and events

Explore British Racing’s Directory of Community and Education Activity…

The Directory maps nationwide activities from over 130 organisations that are harnessing racing’s assets to help people develop skills, increase physical activity and create a more diverse and inclusive sport.

Email to add your organisation or retrieve your login details.

31 March 2022

On International Trans Day of Visibility, hear Courtney’s journey and how racing and horses have helped.

Hi everyone, I’m Courtney, I’m a 35-year-old transgender woman who lives in Sidcup. I rent a flat and live by myself.

I transitioned three years ago after a lot of battles with myself; from a very young age I felt like a girl, but it wasn’t until my early thirties when everything got too much and I couldn’t fight any longer. I couldn’t keep lying to myself, in the end it all catches up with you. I found some help with my opening words “I need to understand why I feel like a woman” – the best moment of my life.

I don’t remember much visibility for the transgender community when I was younger, all I can remember are the talk shows that made fun of transgender people. The first trans woman I saw was Hayley from Corrie.

Over the last few years through TV programmes such as POSE, Disclosure and all forms of media, we are seeing more visibility of transgender people and more people understanding transgender women and men, that is so important for the future.

This day is important for the young and old who are battling fights in their mind, whether it be fear, worry, or shame. To have people who you can see on the TV, train, and normal day-to-day life is so important because it shows that it does get better and you don’t have to be living a life that isn’t who you are; you will be ok.

If you’re in your twenties, looking in the mirror every day and screaming in a pillow because what you see isn’t what you feel, or you’re older and thinking I can’t do this I’m too old, the opportunity to see others is important to show, yes you can, you can be happy and full of life. That is why I am so pleased to share my story and increase visibility.

The most important impact that International Transgender Day of Visibility can have is to help slow and calm the battles in the mind, to help people who are scared to come out. Yes, it’s tough, but my gosh it’s worth it, and this all comes from visibility of the transgender community and the LGBTQ+ community.

Racing and horses have helped me with these personal battles, my first memory is a Monday night at Windsor but my first love was Denman; the gallop, power, it lit something in me. Since then I have been like Alice and fell down the rabbit hole, as a sport you never stop learning from reading, watching, visiting, there is always something new to discover from an amazing history to looking forward to the future stars.

I was fortunate enough to see Honeysuckle at Cheltenham this year and anyone who knows me will know I’m the biggest Rachael fan. I enjoy the smaller tracks as well as the big ones, I had a great time at Market Rasen and Fontwell last year. I love Sandown and try to go as much as possible. I have an ambition to visit all the courses in Ireland, UK and France, and later this year I get to visit Chantilly for the Prix de Diane which is amazing, I just need to get my head around the hat.

I joined Racing With Pride in April 2021 and it has been brilliant to meet friendly, caring and passionate people who all share the same love. Through Racing With Pride I have forged friendships which have taken me to my first point-to-point meeting with Ellen and Katie, it was wet, damp, muddy and fantastic, we had a great meal in the evening and a great time, something I wasn’t able to do before joining RWP.

I also bumped into friends from the network at Cheltenham this year, which was great and what this group is all about. I have been able to raise awareness of Racing With Pride and its work when at Sandown for the Tingle Creek helping to promote Racing is Everyone’s Sport. This took me out of my comfort zone, but I was supported by friends from the group, and we had a great day.

Since joining Racing With Pride, racing has just become more enjoyable, to have the opportunity to meet new friends is amazing and to speak to people with the same passions and love just makes the sport so much more fun! I would recommend it to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who loves horses and this sport – you will meet caring, thoughtful & fun people.

The Racing With Pride Facebook group can be found here.

Back to news