The International Olympic Committee recently voted to ease restrictions on transgender athletes competing in the Olympics.
As a result, there are a number of transgender athletes that are paving the way for others who want to compete in a wide range of sports.
The following are just some of the current transgender athletes to watch in 2017.
Assigned female at birth in New York City, Bailar started swimming when he was just a year old. Before transitioning, Bailar successfully competed in local and national swimming events.
When he was a junior in high school, Bailar came to terms with his gender identity. He began transitioning in October 2014 and shared his experience with transgender cosmetic surgery on social media.
Bailar was recruited by Harvard University and currently swims on its men’s team. The television news show 60 Minutes featured Bailar’s transition on a segment entitled “Switching Teams.”
She transferred to the University of California Santa Cruz in 2016 before her junior year. Anderson is one of the first transgender volleyball players to compete at the NCAA Division III level.
Anderson knew growing up that she was different from other boys in her school, but she didn’t understand how. Playing volleyball was the one thing she could count on during those difficult times.
During her junior year in high school, Anderson learned what set her apart when she saw a film on transgender children. She successfully underwent MTF transgender surgery just a few years later and fully completed her transition when she was 19 years old.
Since completing his FTM transition, Mozier has made a habit of breaking down barriers.
In 2015, he became the first transgender athlete on a national U.S. team when he earned a place on Team USA in the men’s sprint duathlon.
He was featured in ESPN’s 2016 “Body Issue”, making him the first transgender athlete to earn the honour. Mozier also was the very first transgender athlete to be included in a Nike advertisement.
In addition to his success in athletics, Mozier is also a respected speaker and advocate. He founded TransAthlete.com to support other transgender athletes and to help educate the public about transgender inclusion in athletics.
He’s also the Executive Director of GO! Athletes and regularly blogs for Original Plumbing, a magazine designed for transgender men.
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, she struggled with gender issues from a young age. Fox served in the U.S. Navy and worked as a truck driver before undergoing transgender surgery in 2006.
In 2008, Fox started training in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. She soon started competing professionally in the Championship Fighting Alliance and has a record of 5 wins and 1 loss.
“Game Face”, a documentary about her journey as a transgender athlete, was released in 2015. She’s active on social media and continues to be an advocate for transgender issues.
These four transgender athletes are paving the way for others. Overcoming personal struggles, undergoing transgender cosmetic surgery, and achieving athletic success continues to inspire others while helping to bring transgender rights and equality to the forefront of today’s athletic arenas.