An Israeli football referee has come out as transgender and is living — and enforcing the rules of the game — as a woman.
Sapir Berman announced Tuesday she has received the support of her family, the local referees’ union and Israeli and international football officials. She said even players and fans have begun to address her as a woman, even if they don’t always like her calls on the field.
“I always saw myself as a woman, from a young age,” Berman, whose birth name was “Sagi,” told reporters.
“I realized society will not accept me, will not be on my side, so I continued like this for nearly 26 years,” she said. Six months ago, “I decided to come out and to show who I am, first of all to myself, for my soul,” she said with a smile. Berman began living as a woman visually about three months ago.
Berman’s decision comes at a time when gay and transgender people are…