Compete Network Feature Stories

Transgender Athletes Becoming More Visible and Accepted

This issue of Compete examines what it means to be a transgender athlete in today’s world. We are grateful to Zander Dyer, a trans man playing flag football for sharing his story and to trans man Andy Winder for writing about it. We also share the story of plastic surgeon Babak Dadvand M.D. who specializes in male breast reduction and transgender top surgery. He represents a new breed of surgeons who understand the profound importance of body image, saying that he gains from his work with transgender patients “a sense of fulfillment that most other surgeries do not [provide].” While still far from ideal, thanks to more contemporary pioneer trans athletes like Molly Lenore, Kye Allums, Fallon Fox and especially Chris Mosier, the sports scene for trans athletes is increasingly visible and accepting.

An elite athlete in his own right, Chris has been responsible for changing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines for trans athletes to compete, a move that impacted trans athletes around the world who compete in the many sports using the IOC guidelines. It was what enabled him to participate with Team USA in the 2016 Duathlon World Championships in Spain, making him the first trans athlete to qualify for a team of his identified gender and actually compete with them. He has also been featured by Nike in their #Unlimited campaign and been the first transgender athlete featured in ESPN The Magazine’s prestigious Body Issue. Chris is currently the vice president of program development and community relations for You Can Play.

And speaking of You Can Play, there is a great story about U.S. Soccer teaming up with You Can Play during Pride month that, among other initiatives, involved players wearing shirts with rainbow numbers. While MLB and the NBA have been supportive of holding LGBTQ nights for a couple of years, the NFL is finally getting into the spirit of inclusion. In addition to the New England Patriots sponsoring Gay Bowl which we reported last month, the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers sponsored last month’s Venice Beach, California Pride event. While it may be too slow for many of us, nevertheless, things are changing for the better!

We also have stories on volleyball, the rodeo, endurance racing and of course, advice from our style editor Bobby Ciletti on the perfect summer sunglasses to frame your face so that when you’re involved in all these great sporting events (or watching them from the sidelines), you are still looking fabulous and chic. Really – who could want for more!



Keep Smiling,


Connie Wardman, M.A., SDL





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