From the side of the road, someone uttering “was that a guy or girl?” as Chris Mosier ran past in full stride.
“I can’t remember when that one was,” he says of the kind of comments he’s had to endure during a groundbreaking career. “Either just before or just after transition. I’ve heard comments consistently like that in races.
“Fortunately it’s not the norm, but it wasn’t a surprise to me when it happened. At the time, each time, of course it’s hurtful. But it’s just people are challenged by something they can’t fit into a box, society likes to label things.”
For as long as he can remember, the 35-year-old has known he didn’t fit into that “box” — that he didn’t subscribe to society’s traditional definition of male and female.
He says it has made him “a better athlete, a better person and a better husband,” and he has become a role model for trans athletes. He is contacted by children as young as fifth grade to share their own experiences and lean on him for advice.
“I’ve never had a trans person to look up to, so this is an amazing opportunity for me,” says Mosier, who works as a college administrator in New York and also coaches athletes.
He knows the future will not always be easy. After the new IOC guidance he received unpleasant messages on social media, but Mosier is unperturbed.
“I think it’s partly a lack of understanding and partly people who just stir the pot on social media whatever the subject,” he says.
“I think most people understand that it’s a basic human right for a trans athlete to be able to participate fairly.”
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