Chatham-Kent’s Bobbi Lancaster Was A Groundbreaker For Transgender Athletes
When we look at names of influential athletes whose roots run to Chatham-Kent, some obvious names come to mind.
If Bobbi Lancaster isn’t one you immediately think of, her name is one you need to know.
Born in Chatham, and living in Ridgetown until age 10, Bobbi Lancaster is a doctor, author, human rights advocate, champion golfer – and a transgender woman.
In 2013, Lancaster made international news in her quest to earn a spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour
Having won a pair of OUAA golf championships in the 1970s as a member of the McMaster University golf team, Lancaster had a history as a top golfer, learning the game as a youth in Ridgetown.
In 2013, she decided to chase that dream, at the age of 63, of qualifying for the LPGA Tour.
Lancaster’s first step was winning the Papago Club Championship, in Gold Canyon, Arizona where Lancaster now called home.
In 2013, Lancaster began competing in Arizona’s Cactus Tour, where she was instrumental in changing rules the circuit held related to transgender athletes.
Ultimately, Bobbi Lancaster fell short of her goal of reaching the LPGA Tour after competing in the 2013 LPGA Qualifying Tournament, but she did qualify for the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official development tour.
After receiving international recognition from publications such as USA Today, Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Sports Illustrated, and the Golf Channel, Lancaster used her platform to become a motivational speaker and human rights advocate.
In the future, as we talk about influential athletes from Chatham-Kent, it’s time we add Bobbi Lancaster to the list. Her impact is a lasting one, which has opened doors for other athletes, and helped to break barriers for LGBTQ+ golfers and people.