Trans woman to make history by sailing around the world solo, nonstop and completely unaided

Josh Milton November 12, 2019
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Sabreena Lachlainn is aiming to be the first trans woman to sail around the world. (Facebook)

Sabreena Lachlainn is aiming to be the first trans woman to sail around the world. (Facebook)

The only word that can describe trans woman Sabreena Lachlainn is courageous, seeing how she’s aiming to sail solo, nonstop, and completely unaided around the world next year.

After suffering years of discrimination and transphobia, the American sailor wants to surf up the ranks of legends such as Kat Cottee and Jessica Watson.

Fewer than 100 people have ever completed such an adventurous voyage, and if Lachlainn achieves her goal, she would become the first trans woman to ever do so.

Trans woman has made waves in the sporting world for decades.

“Sailing solo non-stop around the world is probably the single most difficult task to achieve,” she said.

“But if I can do it, I want it to be a message to my community. Anything is possible if you have a dream and are willing to work hard to achieve it.

“It would be a very humbling experience and honour to join such sailing legends – my heroes – in the record books.”

Lachlainn’s trek comes after a turbulent career that carved out a pathway for more trans athletes.

In the mid-2000s, she was the first openly trans woman to play in a nationally sanctioned Women’s Pro Football League in the US.

But players and coaches from opposing teams pelted her with her abuse, saving their sharpest barb for when, she claimed, they forced her out of the game completely.

Bringing an end to her nine season-long career.

‘I had to transition to save my life.’

Lachlainn was just four years old when she realised she was born in the wrong body. Confusion caught her in its grips for 30 years.

“I had no idea what I was dealing with, no understanding why I felt the way I did,” she said.

“But I remember arguing with my mom that I was a girl and her insisting I was a boy.”

Living in a rural, leafy town of just 400 people, Lachlainn struggled to understand herself in the pre-internet age.

Her divorce in 2001 from her wife Gloria united her with her true self, as she encouraged Lachlainn to transition.

“After 13 years of marriage she sat me down, held my hands and looked me in the eyes,” she said.

“She told me she loved me and that she knew I had to transition to save my life.”

Sabreena Lachlainn received ‘death threats’ after coming out.

However, her family was not as supportive.

Cutting off all contact with her, Lachlainn only connected with her family again in 2015.

“I did not come out to my family until New Year’s Eve 2002 and it went very badly,” she said.

“I was forced to go into hiding, I received death threats.

“It was a nightmare I would not wish upon another living soul.”

Lachlainn listed her sponsors for her record-breaking dreams as what is keeping her buoyant.

“In order to achieve my dream sponsors are absolutely critical to my success or failure,” she said.

Sponsors can get more information about helping Sabreena by contacting Team Revolution Sailing by emailing [email protected].

More: Sabreena Lachlainn, sports, trans woman

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