In June 2015, I became the first transgender man to make a Men's US National Team, qualifying for Team USA in the sprint duathlon. Now, I'm unable to compete internationally in the World Championship race in 2016 because of discriminatory policies regarding participation for trans athletes. I'm taking these policies on and I need your help to pay for the legal expenses. This change will enable countless athletes after me to participate openly.WHAT IS TRANS?
Transgender, or trans, is an “umbrella term” to describe anyone whose identity or behavior falls outside stereotypical gender norms. More narrowly defined, it refers to individuals whose gender identity does not match their assigned birth gender.
I was designated female at birth, and started competing in triathlon and duathlon races as female in 2009. I transitioned medically, using testosterone, in 2010 and began competing as male. I identify as a trans guy (transgender man) and I compete in the men's category.
I am a multisport athlete, competing in triathlon, and a member of the National Team for duathlon (run/bike/run). I have also raced aquabike (swim/bike) races, as well as running and cycling events. I won my first duathlon in 2014, and am a 3x Ironman finisher. More about my story can be found in this ESPN article. WHAT IS THE POLICY?
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body charged with overseeing Olympic competition and those events leading up to the Games, oversees the International Triathlon Union (ITU), which is the governing body for the World Championship duathlon race. ITU follows the IOC policy on transgender athlete participation. The IOC’s policy says trans athletes can participate only if they have:1. undergone sex reassignment surgery
2. had hormone treatments for at least two years, and
3. received legal recognition of their transitioned sex can participate consistent with their gender identities (IOC, 2003).WHAT IS MY ISSUE?
The IOC's take on sex reassignment surgery includes a a "full lower surgery," with both "internal and external changes." Not all trans people want to have surgery to modify their bodies. Surgeries are expensive, not well practiced, and are unnecessary for equitable participation in sports. HOW THE MONEY WILL BE USED
I've secured an awesome legal team to take on this case pro-bono, but I'm responsible for all expenses, including paying for travel and accommodations for the lawyers and expert witnesses for international court arbitration appearances and any other fees that come up with a court case. TIMELINE
The World Championship race is in June. Every day I picture myself on the starting line. I will battle as long as it takes to get the policy changed, but I hope to be in my Team USA uniform in Spain this June. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR SPORTS
When I was younger, I didn't have a trans male role model who was playing sports and succeeding. I want to be an example for others to know that it is possible to be your authentic self and continue to compete in the sports you love - and to do so at a high level.
Any contribution would be helpful in breaking down barriers and forever changing the landscape of sports.
Somewhere out there, there's a kid who will be a trans Olympian. Let's open the doors for them!
I thank you in advance for your help and support!