TRANS­GEN­DER ATH­LETES

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - BY KEVIN MACKIN­NON

CHRIS MOSIER WORKED hard ham­mer­ing his power, strength and en­durance. For years he’s been plug­ging away, grad­u­ally mov­ing his way up the com­pet­i­tive ranks, but never mak­ing it high enough on the podium to make a na­tional team. Last June that changed when he fin­ished sev­enth in the men’s 35–39 cat­e­gory at the US na­tional duathlon cham­pi­onship, which was enough to earn his a spot at next year’s world cham­pi­onship race in Spain.

No big deal, right? There are lots of peo­ple who strive to make na­tional teams and do that. Chris Mosier’s jour­ney has been dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent, though. He com­peted in his first triathlon in 2009 – as a woman. Two years later he would com­pete in the same event, the New York City Triathlon, as a man.

Since mak­ing the tran­si­tion in 2010, Mosier has be­come both an ad­vo­cate and a re­source for trans ath­letes. He founded the web­site transath­lete.com.

“When I was con­sid­er­ing tran­si­tion, I didn’t see any trans men who were ath­letes,” he told The Ad­vo­cate mag­a­zine. “I didn’t know it was pos­si­ble to con­tinue to com­pete through tran­si­tion, and I thought I would go from com­pet­i­tive to mid­dle-of-the-pack in races. But the op­po­site has been true. I’ve got­ten more and more com­pet­i­tive in the male age group, work­ing to­ward the elite level. My hope is that ath­letes who are ques­tion­ing their gen­der iden­tity can see me and hear my story and know they don’t have to give up their iden­tity as an ath­lete to live au­then­ti­cally.”

Shortly af­ter Mosier’s duathlon suc­cess, an ath­lete who had planned to com­pete on Har­vard’s women’s swim team, Schuyler Bailar, was wrestling with whether or not he should com­pete at all, let alone as a man or as a woman. Af­ter be­ing re­cruited for the women’s team, Bailar had taken a gap year, dur­ing which he “came out as trans­gen­der,” the school’s news­pa­per, The Crim­son, re­ported. Here was his dilemma: he loved to swim, but he wasn’t sure how long he could con­tinue “the girl thing,” he told the news­pa­per. Even­tu­ally Bailar was given the op­por­tu­nity to swim on either the women’s or men’s teams at Har­vard – he chose the men’s. He’s since started hor­mone treat­ments and has been com­pet­ing on the men’s team. While he’s gone from be­ing one of the fastest swim­mers in the pool to one who is hang­ing on at the back of the lane, he’s happy with his de­ci­sion.

In or­der to be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete in sanc­tioned triathlon events, trans ath­letes must fol­low the stan­dards set by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion, which the In­ter­na­tional Triathlon Union has cho­sen to fol­low. Ac­cord­ing to transath­lete.com, those stan­dards in­clude that in or­der to “par­tic­i­pate con­sis­tent with their gen­der iden­tity” an ath­lete must have: Un­der­gone sex reassignment surgery Had hor­mone treat­ments for at least two years, and Re­ceived le­gal recog­ni­tion of their tran­si­tioned sex.

1. 2.

3.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.