Natalie Washington has opened up to Sky Sports News about how football has provided her with an escape from the day-to-day reality of being a transgender woman.
Washington plays for women's side Rushmoor Ladies, who are based in Farnborough in Hampshire. She joined a year after leaving men's football following gender reassignment.
Barring one match in which she was substituted in the first half due to being singled out for rough treatment, her experience as a transgender woman in football has been largely positive.
"Being trans can be quite tiring, because you are forced to think about it all the time... there is loads of stuff about it in the media, and the transition process is quite mentally tough," Washington tells Sky Sports News.
"Sport and football can be quite an escape from that.
"Spending some time with people for whom that isn't really a particularly important thing - it's not something they are thinking about, it's just women playing football - is really nice.
"It's a break from the other stresses of trans life, I guess."
Washington's Rushmoor team-mate, Lisa Pinto, added: "She's just another person in our squad except she is a better footballer than me!"
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