#97 – Chris Mosier | Trailblazing Trans Athlete

Chris Mosier has been called “the man who changed the Olympics” by the BBC and New York Magazine. In 2020 he made history by becoming the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Trials in the gender with which they identify. In 2015 he became the first openly trans man to make a Men’s US National Team and was the catalyst for change of the International Olympic Committee policy on transgender athletes. In June 2016 he became the first trans athlete to compete in a world championship race under the new rules. Chris is a six-time member of Team USA, a two-time Men’s National Champion, a Men’s All-American, and an inductee into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. He is sponsored by Nike, and was the first transgender athlete to land a contract with any major sporting company.

Lewis and Chris talk about his upbringing, journey in sports, relationship with his mum, the power of sport in forming identity, the experience of transitioning, and forms of transitioning, mental health issues in young transgender people, as well as societies conversation around the subject of trans athlete, common misconceptions, especially with the Olympics having recently included its first trans athletes. Along with all of this, how Chris is fighting the good fight and where he hopes to see the conversation, policies around transgender people and athletes going into the future.

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This episode at a glance

  • How Chris has been doing recently. [5:14]
  • Discussing Chris’ recent injuries.[7:18]
  • The difference between the pain of adapting and the pain of an actual injury. [9:16]
  • Never be shy to take a day off. [13:39]
  • Lessons Chris learned from his recent injuries. [14:53]
  • How Chris used his recovery time when he was injured into the causes he’s supporting. [19:24] (transathlete.com)
  • How Chris got into sport and shares his upbringing. [24:09]
  • Chris’ outlet while he was going through his transition. [31:30]
  • Advice for younger people who are wrestling with their own gender identity. [35:09]
  • The supportive role of Chris’ mom in his life. [40:15]
  • The struggles that Chris had to encounter during his transition was due to the lack of education on the topic of transgenders. [45:21]
  • Chris talks about the actual process of transitioning to another gender. [46:24]
  • The moment Chris realizes how far he’s come as a successful trans-athlete. [53:05]
  • Chris describes how cis-gendered men reacted to him being in the field and competing alongside them. [56:37]
  • Chris and Lewis talk about the misconceptions of transgender athletes having an advantage in the categories they join after they transition. [59:18]
  • Chris and Lewis talk about transgender athletes in other sports. [1:03:48]
  • Chris shares where he thinks he can make the most impact in paving the way for other transgender people, athlete or not. [1:09:33]
  • Chris and Lewis discuss the effects on the rates of suicide of transgender athletes when legislative bills come out that are not in favor of transgender athletes vis-a-vis when a transgender finds a supportive figure in their life. [1:14:01]
  • The mental health issues that transgender people face. [1:15:53]
  • How Chris manages stress. [1:20:07]
  • Values and foundational elements that Chris believes was crucial to his success. [1:23:04]
  • Sport is one of the best tools for inclusivity. [1:24:50]
  • Progress in transgender issues is not always linear, but that doesn’t mean we’re not heading in the right direction. [1:28:39]


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