Tiziana Lezcano started playing soccer when she was 8 years old. Her family took her to the Deportivo Paraguayo club, located a few blocks from her house.
He grew up in Rafael Castillo, a Buenos Aires town of La Matanza, in a context of vulnerability, although there was plenty of love. “Both my mom and dad always did everything possible to make sure I was well,” she tells TN.
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Tiziana, 31, had concerns about her sexual orientation and gender identity from a very young age, when she played with the Power Rangers and chose the pink character: “My mom wouldn't let me be that one, she got angry. And in the garden she also had a hard time representing that color.”
“My dad didn't say anything to me at that time, but my mom did, she got very angry and punished me, she wouldn't let me let go, let's say. At that time the punishment was not to watch TV or stop eating certain things,” she explains.
Tiziana will play her second season as a footballer in Ferro in 2024 (Photo: Instagram @tizianalezcano3).
He remembers in those years with a “very masculine” personality, where he tried to hide from his classmates what he really liked to do. “At that time women's football did not exist. The girls couldn't play because it was directly against the rules,” she says.
Although her femininity tried to overcome the vehemence of rough play with boys, the first charges she received in primary school were for studying hard and getting good grades.
Tiziana was a sex worker for more than a year (Photo: Instagram @tizianalezcano3).
“My time through adolescence was difficult, because I always knew what I liked. I always knew what I wanted to be and it was very difficult for me, because I had to pretend to be something I wasn't. I had a girlfriend and I pretended that I really liked girls, because if I didn't do that my classmates would look at me differently,” says Tiziana.
Her fear at that time was to talk to her mother about her desires: Tiziana liked boys, but she was afraid that he would throw her out of the house. “When I was 16, I had a 23-year-old girlfriend who was going to pick me up from school. Everyone said 'wow' or that she was beautiful, but I used her as a screen. Internally, she was a friend to me,” she relates.
After sexually experimenting with women and confirming his true sexual orientation, he decided to talk to his father: “We were in his mechanical workshop and I told him 'daddy, I like boys.' I had to come out of the closet. He hugged me and told me 'if you are happy, I am happy too, and the rest doesn't matter.' “He started crying and so did I, because it was very emotional.”
The 31-year-old woman plays as a left winger (Photo: Instagram @tizianalezcano3).
His mother, on the other hand, took it badly. “Here you play the little man,” she told him. Tiziana says that she must have “come out of the closet twice.” The first time when she told her parents that she was gay. Then, after adolescence, when she began her transition.
“At 20 I separated from a boyfriend who was heterosexual. He told me that he couldn't have anything with me because he wanted to start a family and his father wasn't going to let him. He broke my heart. “I talked to my best friend and told him that I wanted to be a trans girl,” Tiziana recalls.
Tiziana travels two hours there and two hours back to train in Ferro (Photo: Agustina Ribó/TN).
Her friend told her that this would take time, and that the first thing she had to achieve was to accept herself: “I was 21 years old. The modification was difficult because I trained a lot, I went to the gym, and it was difficult for me. Suddenly I was a bear who had to go out in the street wearing a short T-shirt and a miniskirt. Then, with the hormones, my body changed. “When I let my hair really long I felt like a queen.”
Her mother kicked her out of her house for a week. Tiziana went to live at her best friend's house and she returned after a call from her mother, in which she told her that she had bought her first makeup.
As a girl she had to give up soccer because she had no one to play with (Photo: Agustina Ribó/TN).
“I had great nieces, almost my age, who helped me with the clothes. They told me what I should wear, what looked bad on me and how to do my makeup. They taught me everything,” Tiziana remembers.
From the dream of being a footballer to sex work
“At that time I stopped playing football, because with the neighborhood kids it was impossible. Imagine being a trans girl and wanting to go play with them. They turned my face around,” she explains.
After working in the central market with her family and in some clothing stores, Tiziana decided to dedicate herself to sex work. “My old man had an accident, an exposed fracture of the tibia and fibula. The comfort at that time was cut off a little. And going to work being trans was difficult, because I tried to look for a job, I'm not going to deny it, but it wasn't the same anymore,” she says.
Tiziana reveals that she talks to her colleagues about her past as a sex worker (Photo: Instagram @tizianalezcano3).
“I had never worked sexually or anything, but I saw benefits with which I could help my family and I could also help myself. The hardest thing about that entire stage was being with men I didn't want to be with. That I didn't like them. I felt like an object and it was very ugly, even though there was money. They can give you a lot of money, but being an object makes you feel dirty,” she says.
Tiziana left the neighborhood to live in a completely opposite context: she rented an apartment in Santa Fe and Larrea and earned more than US$1,000 per month. “I was able to build my house a little, the one I live in today. I also had surgery on my lolas, which is a very good thing because it is part of femininity,” she details.
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“I don't miss anything from that time. Luxuries sometimes, but the reality is I am happy even having some mates with my friends. I realized that. The maturity I am having now is enormous, football makes me happy. Now I am happy,” she remarks.
From sex work to professional football
When Tiziana found out that her mother had cancer, she decided to put her work on hold: she sought to accompany her throughout her illness. After her death, Tiziana canceled a trip to Spain and focused on listening to herself to find out what the next step she should take was.
“It didn't fill me with anything. It was a huge void that I felt at that moment, until they told me to play in the neighborhood with girls and return to soccer. I started at a club called Rocamora, which opened its doors to me and told me I could go train. “I felt alive again,” she says.
He currently has a semi-professional contract with Ferro (Photo: Instagram @tizianalezcano3).
Then, on the recommendation of a friend, she signed up for a test at Club Ferro Carril Oeste: “I spoke to a person at the club and I told him that I was a trans girl. She told me that she was the same. I remember that it was a test of 40 girls and in the end there were three of us left. She was very happy because they were going to sign me.”
Tiziana signed a semi-professional contract through which she earns a sum of money that, as she details, is enough for her to live on. “I could have a lot more money, but if you don't do what you really like, you feel empty,” she says.
“My routine here is to come a little early to fuck with the girls. “We change, we order our clothes, we have mates and then we start in the gym or on the court,” she says.
“They always ask me what the wardrobe issue is like, because I don't have surgery. But honestly I handle it very well, because the locker room is not like the men's locker room where they run naked. Here the girls can bathe with tights or a top. We are different”, she specifies.
The routine of each training session begins with half an hour in the gym for the women's team (Photo: Agustina Ribó/TN).
“I never had any fear, because the truth is that the girls accept me as I am. We make jokes, we get on each other and there is very good chemistry. I even tell him many anecdotes from my previous stage. They are dying of laughter,” Tiziana reveals.
“The discussion about whether or not a trans girl can play with women is based on a barbaric lie, because we have hormonal controls, we take male hormone blockers and we also consume female hormones. We are very controlled,” she explains.
“On the court I define myself as a warrior who does not like to give up a ball for lost. I like to go strong, I like to attack. Let the group have an intensity. I define myself as a girl who always moves forward,” she details.
Tiziana concludes: “I am excited about the growth I have had and the life I am having. Regarding my past, I think it's all behind me. I don't care what they will say. People are free to think what they want. And I am not ashamed to say everything I experienced, because today I am experiencing some beautiful things.”