TRANSCRIPT: TransLash Podcast, Episode 15 ‘Trans Athletes Speak Out’

Imara Jones: Hi fam, Imara here. Welcome to the TransLash Podcast, the show where we take a look at news and culture from a trans perspective. Today we’re going to delve into a topic that’s unfortunately, been in the news way too much. Trans people just living their lives and playing sports has been unnecessarily politicized. In fact, state lawmakers right now in at least 25 states are trying to stop trans students specifically from having the same opportunities as their cis peers, according to the ACLU.

While the hate directed at trans people in athletics has gotten a lot of play in the media, the voices of these talented athletes are often left out of the conversation. So today, I’m sitting down with two incredible trans people who are breaking barriers in sports. First, we’re going to hear from CeCé Telfer. She’s the first openly-trans woman to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association title.

CeCé Telfer: Not only was I targeted and threatened with death threats, we have an open campus. So it’s not like we have gates where we can checkpoint people, no, anybody can come to the University. That’s very unsettling.

Imara Jones: Plus, I’m going to talk to Chris Mosier, the first openly-trans athlete to represent the US in an international competition, and six-time member of Team USA.

Chris Mosier: I think there’s just a lack of understanding of the fact that we are people and who we are as people. We are not monsters. We are not here to destroy sports, we are literally just people doing what we love.

Imara Jones: I just wanted to let everyone know that our first conversation with CeCé goes to some heavy places. That’s why I’m giving a trigger warning here around anti-trans violence and death. So please take care of yourself while listening. 

Before we get to the show, I just wanted to thank all of our incredible listeners. You all are the reason we make the show. A tweet from a listener named K. Travis Ballie really warmed my heart. He wrote, quote, “Really enjoyed listening to this week’s @translashmedia podcast. Science fiction is my favorite genre. To hear how this literary art form can fuel Black trans liberation connected dots for me. Highly recommend,” close quote. Thank you so much for lifting up our show. If you leave a nice review on Apple Podcasts or shout us out on social media, I might just share your comment during the program. And with that, it’s time for a bit of Trans Joy.

One thing lifting my spirits this week is people in our communities who are creating new spaces for us to thrive. Luca Page is one such person. They’re a personal trainer who started a gym in Oakland, California, centering trans, queer, Black, brown, disabled, big bodied and fat-identified people called Radically Fit, Luca opened up to share why they’re so passionate about what they do, and why it’s important.

Luca Page: People that are really marginalized in our communities, even within the smaller queer and trans communities often have been taught that fitness is a luxury, and fitness is so rampantly filled with the toxicity of white supremacy that we are not really told from the get-go that these spaces should include us. And in fact, not just should include us but there should be spaces that are specifically for us that allow us to move our bodies in, in whatever way we choose. Fitness isn’t a luxury–fitness, moving your body, that is a necessity for everybody, especially people that are in marginalized communities because moving your body helps with mental and emotional health.

Whenever something really traumatic has happened in my life or really hard, I always go back to moving my body to help me in, really just being in my body and feeling safe in that way and feeling empowered in that way. And that’s a huge part of why, you know, I started working in community and providing a space for folks to come home to themselves through movement.

Imara Jones: Luca, thank you so much for the vital work you are doing. You are Trans Joy.

The first athlete joining us today is the incredible and very abbed CeCé Telfer. CeCé made history in 2019 when she became the first openly-trans woman to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association title. It’s a win that CeCé deserved to celebrate, and to bask in with abandon. But the much deserved-high from her groundbreaking win was muddled by the anti-trans attacks that followed. And because of these anti-trans attacks, directed at CeCé, and other talented women like her, we’ve been hearing a lot of discussions about whether or not trans women belong in sports.

But we hardly ever actually hear from athletes like CeCé, and they’re almost never properly celebrated. That’s why I’m honored to have CeCé here today. And to properly recognize her historic and groundbreaking accomplishments. Yay. Thank you for joining me today, CeCé. I am so thrilled to be talking to you fresh off of training from Mexico City.

CeCé Telfer: Oh my gosh, Imara, thank you so much for having me. And I, the pleasure is mine, being here. And yes, fresh off the boat from Mexico. Kind of wish I was back where I am actually you know, wanted? 

Imara Jones: Well, you are wanted here. There are just some people that are noisy about not wanting you for all the wrong reasons, of course. 

CeCé Telfer: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: So before we turn to that, let’s talk about little CeCé, we’ll call your younger self.

CeCé Telfer: I love that. 

Imara Jones: Yeah. And when did she want to run? Like how did running become such a passion in your life?

CeCé Telfer: I actually learned how to run in Jamaica, I think they like, I don’t know, injected into your blood, something. I don’t know what it is. But everybody there runs track at a very young age. It’s like the first athletic sport that we’re introduced to. And then I believe that it was grade school, like I was really, really young, like five or six, like, maybe even younger, and how they implemented that was in the academic curriculum.

So they–we didn’t have that much time to have a strict gym class where they can get a whole bunch of little kids to like, have the capacity and the mental span to stay still and listen to instruction. So they kind of incorporated it in to the teaching. So for example, we would have to do like a math equation like multiple choice division, whatever it may be, that would get us to line up, boy or girl, boy with girl, girl with girl, it doesn’t matter what sex or gender, and then they would run to the math equation, solve it as fast as they can and run back to the start, which is the finish.

The person that gets the question right, wins the race, not the person who wins the race, gets the point. So that’s kind of how it all started for me.

Imara Jones: So you started to run early. When did you realize that your gender was totally different than the one you had been assigned at birth?

CeCé Telfer: I realized at also a young age but ignored it anyways because you know, once you are born to do things that are innate, you can’t really go against that nature. Basically, you cannot go against your nature to be who you are, no matter how hard you try, like you always revert back to what your body’s telling you–like when you sleep, you can’t stop yourself from breathing. For example, I couldn’t stop myself from doing what my family wanted, which was, you know, a very sports-orientated and masculine athlete, a family person, so I kind of just like, left that little childhood life, like, you know, go out with my friends and go play and come back and like, be kind of like neutral in the house because everything I did was a problem.

Becoming a teenager that even, got even worse, I can even put my hands in my pocket, and that’s too feminine. Take your hands out of your pocket, what are you doing, everything slowly started to come in issue because my family saw what I was, or who I am, but still decided to ostracize it or still decided to cut it out of their lives. I’m more independent, more free, the more aggressive they were, the more they felt like they needed to control me to tell me what to do you know what I mean? 

Imara Jones: These two things began really early for you in your life, one you could express, right, through athleticism. The other one, you couldn’t– 

CeCé Telfer: Yes. 

Imara Jones: But you all moved to Canada. And then you went to University at Franklin Pierce. 

CeCé Telfer: Yes. 

Imara Jones: And there was and developed and extended your athleticism. And in 2018, I believe is the year that you began to be able to run on the women’s track team. Is that right? Was it 2018?

CeCé Telfer: Yes, that’s correct.

Imara Jones: So in 2018, these two things were able to come together, right. Finally your ability to be able to transition and to have all the rules changed so that you could run. When you stepped on the track as a woman for the first time who could express her athleticism, what was the response from your teammates? And what did you feel inside of yourself?

CeCé Telfer: Before even getting to that first track meet, they all made that clear. My teammates, my coaches, they all had a meeting, and my teammates were so supportive. They, too, was like, “We have your back 100%, like we’ve always had it. And we will always stand up for you.” And I’m trying so hard not to cry right now, because, you know, my hormones are constantly like altering. And it’s making me, it makes me very emotional. I’m so grateful, so thankful to be able to compete as myself, my authentic self, to run, you know, to run free. 

Imara Jones: Wow, wow. So in 2018, that happens. 2019, all of that’s fulfilled, like, you go on to win a championship, first trans woman to win a collegiate championship, it’s Division Two, I think it was, 400 meters. You made history. And right after that, you became a target.

And you became a target of the son of the then-President of the United States, Donald Trump Jr., who called even your being on the team, a grave injustice and you know, having to explain people stuff, such as about your hormone levels, and all this other type of stuff that no one should have to explain. And I am wondering how that felt for you how, you know, the six months after you won when you were bearing the brunt of so many attacks as a young woman who had fulfilled her dream, you can just talk about that?

CeCé Telfer: After everything happened, the University and myself and the team, we were all expecting back lashes, there’s no way that something like that was going to happen without any backlash. So it was to be expected, however, to come from the President’s son is just utterly like immature and like stuck in their misogynistic mindset, like it just shows where, that the apple doesn’t really fall too far from the tree.

It was kind of devastating, because I felt not only that, he outed me, but like I felt violated, because he didn’t know he doesn’t know what I’ve been through and what I had to go through, he has a whole family supporting him since birth, I had to put a face on to protect myself to make sure that my family, or somebody else, doesn’t kill me growing up because of who I was. And I felt so violated because he really put my business out there on a higher scale.

So like, for instance, like relationship goals, for me are pretty much canceled. Because if I’m meeting a guy, and he decides to Google me, then everything is out, he would never see me as a female first, not that anybody does anyways, they always run to my transness before they see that I’m a woman. And before I told myself that that’s okay, like, but it’s not, it’s not okay, I’m a woman first. And people should see that I’m a woman first. And I feel like he having the followers that he does made things kind of worse. Not only was I targeted and threatened with death threats, we have an open campus.

So it’s not like we have gates where we can checkpoint people, no, anybody can come to the University. That’s very unsettling. And I can say that I was a very naive girl, I was always smiling, always positive, always just willing and hoping that the world is, is just as good as I am. But no, you have to be able to protect yourself because this is a country where, you know, the gun laws are very low, and like trans women, like myself are not protected. 

Imara Jones: I’m so incredibly sorry that you had to endure that, that is unfair. For him, it was a cheap shot. But for you, it’s your life. And he moved on from it, but you can’t.

CeCé Telfer: Exactly.

Imara Jones: And that’s deeply unfair and hurtful. And so as a human being I just want to express that. I’m wondering if you can just talk about the way in which these attacks are highly racialized?

CeCé Telfer: Oh, absolutely.

Imara Jones: That the way that the President’s son, and the administration, because, you know, after he sent that tweet in 2020, they actually pressured your school, to not allow trans women to compete in women’s sports and your school bowed to that pressure. 

CeCé Telfer: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: And additionally, one of the first major cases that went to court about trans girls participating in sports is that of Andraya and Terry in Connecticut. 

CeCé Telfer: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: Who were two Black trans women also competing on the track team. And they were sued by two white young women on their team. 

CeCé Telfer: Other Connecticut girls, right. 

Imara Jones: And so this debate is actually highly racialized. 

CeCé Telfer: Very. 

Imara Jones: And it’s focused on Black trans women. And so can you just unpack what the impact of that is, and what insights you have about the fact that this is as much about taking away our legitimacy as people–as Black people, and then taking away our legitimacy as women because we are stereotyped. 

CeCé Telfer: Absolutely, I will be glad to speak on that. And thank you so much for vocalizing that and recognizing that racial discrimination and hate is a huge plays a huge role in this situation. Because not only that it’s the Black female, like, trans lives that are mostly targeted. To me, it seems like the only lives that are targeted, especially when it comes to gender and sports. And also let’s not forget that Black people in general competing in athletics was “unfair” to the world because of the, their quote unquote, “reasons” were bone mass, height. 

Imara Jones: Yep. 

CeCé Telfer: Who came up with these rules? White men, I know that you spoke to Chris Mosier today. He came to my school. And I was so glad that he brought up, when he transitioned, the privilege that came to him being a white man, people are going out of their way to like, greet him, show him the utmost respect. Like all of that, when Black women are transitioning, they get a lot more hate, they get a lot more discrimination, a lot less respect, and all of that stuff. And it’s just sad, because that’s why I said that I’m such a naive little girl, because I just expect the world to be just like me, and wear their hearts on their shoulders.

Because we’re all going through the same things, it would make so much sense for all of us to be on the same boat supporting each other, and making the movement stronger, you know, but that’s not the case. So and that’s why I feel like this journey that I’m on is more than beyond just myself in my journey. It’s for everybody under the the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Anybody who is willing to understand, anybody who’s willing to hope for a better world, my quote that I’ve always lived by is, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” And I’m heavily committed to that. And in order for me to change the world, like has to start with action.

So seeing what is going on, with individuals like myself and with Terry and Andraya, like, and I think it’s so crazy that it happened around the same time that I came out. And I was really going through like a dark time. And I was like, “Why am I–Why do I have to be the only one?” So I started Googling other athletes like myself, and come to find out, I wasn’t the only one. And it made me so much more like, happier and stronger that in this struggle alone, there are other people that are in it with me. And it makes me even more determined to like, show them that like I’m here and I’m going to go harder than ever for us, for all of us and for the cause.

So kind of sucks that individuals decide that they want to go out of their way to make our lives harder by not including us in sports, one of the things that we use as an outlet, to make us better people, to get somewhere in life.

Imara Jones: You’re absolutely right about all of that, sadly, people forget that they’re talking about other people. And I think that what you said just reminded us of that. Somehow, though, you have managed to keep going and didn’t crush you. You are right now looking forward and training to go to Tokyo for the Olympics next year. And I’m wondering how you keep going? 

CeCé Telfer: I like proving people wrong. In order for me to do that, I have to do what I have to do to get there and I’m going to prove them wrong. So far, 100%, like, has proven my coaches wrong every time I’ve told them that I was going to prove them wrong. So I’m going to keep that going. I’m showing up, I’m amplifying the voices that needs to be heard, to prove to the world that we are here, and there’s nothing that you can do about it. 

Imara Jones: Wow. 

CeCé Telfer: And at this point, it’s a matter of life or death. So if I’m not gonna be able to live my life, kill me, period.

Imara Jones: The fact that you even have to set that up as a paradigm for yourself at this age is, is totally outrageous.

CeCé Telfer: Yeah, it’s absolutely outrageous. And the thing that keeps replaying in my head is like, once I get to Tokyo, what if somebody like, like an assassination, like I’m willing to get to that stage to be killed, I do not care. Go ahead. I’m already here. I’m not going to give up. But if that’s what it takes, is getting to the Olympic stage to die, I’m willing to die for the cause. And that’s what I’ve come to. Whatever anybody says, yes, I deserve every single accolade. I’ve won. I deserve every single title that I’ve had. Because it’s mine, and I did it. And it is what it is. It’s in the book, if you’re going to cry about it, cry about it. 

Imara Jones: Well, that perspective that you just gave us as honestly the voice of a champion, we trust that your worst fears will never be realized and that only your best hopes will be realized, that you will continue to win, that you will continue to succeed, that you will continue to thrive despite everything that people have thrown at you and will throw at you, and we are so gratified that you’re on the show and I know that we speak for our entire community that we honor you, and thank you so much. And thank you so much for coming on.

CeCé Telfer: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you times a thousand Imara, thank you so much for having me.

Imara Jones: That was CeCé Telfer, the first openly-trans woman to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association title. CeCé is currently training for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, she started a GoFundMe campaign to help her get there. You can support CeCé by going to cecetelfer.com and chipping in.

And now on to our next conversation. I’m delighted to have the one and only Chris Mosier on the show. He’s a talented athlete breaking ground for trans people in sports. And he’s had many firsts. Chris is the first openly-trans athlete to represent the US in an international competition, the first trans athlete to qualify for the Olympic Trials under the correct gender, the first openly-trans athlete to be sponsored by Nike, and the first to be in the ESPN Body Issue. Chris is a passionate advocate for trans inclusion in sports. Chris, thank you so much for joining me today.

Chris Mosier: Thank you for having me on. It’s so timely and important to have this conversation right now.

Imara Jones: Thank you, I want to begin with you as a person, and as an athlete. I’m wondering if you can talk first, take us back in time here to when you first knew of your gender identity. And when you knew that athleticism was a core part of your identity as well.

Chris Mosier: We have to go way way back for this, I would say four years old is probably the earliest memories that I have really, that I can think of the conversations that I had, I remember a couple of distinct moments when I was four or five years old, of playing in the neighborhood with my friends of family members telling me that I couldn’t run around in the yard with my shirt off, because little girls don’t do this.

You know, on a hot summer day where everybody else is running around in the sprinklers and playing baseball. Those moments really resonate for me today. But obviously at that time, I had no idea that there was a discrepancy between my identity and the way that people saw me in the world. Because I always just felt, I felt comfortable as myself, I felt like I knew what I liked, I knew what I didn’t like, I knew how I wanted to show up in the world, even at the age of four.

As I got older, you know, athletics and sports became the place where I could be a part of a team where I could connect with my peers where I felt like I really belonged. Even if in the outside parts of the world, I didn’t really fit in, sport was that safe place for me.

Imara Jones: And so it seems as if like, even as–is this correct, that even as you were moving through your gender identity, that sports and athleticism was kind of the thing that grounded you throughout?

Chris Mosier: It was and, and then it became a real point of discrepancy for me. You know, when I’m coming into college when I wanted to play sports, I then quickly realized the first day of being on campus that I did not want to be on a women’s team. And I couldn’t articulate that exact reasoning to anyone else. You know, it just didn’t make sense to people. But that was sort of the moment where sport became not only the place where I felt safe, but it also became this point where it really shined a light on some of the problems that I was having in understanding how I was feeling comfortable in the world, and how other people were seeing me.

Imara Jones: So how did you go about resolving that conflict?

Chris Mosier: Well, I stopped playing individual sports that were assigned to gender in school, I did all of the intramural co-ed things that they, that any college offers: Ultimate Frisbee, badminton, volleyball, anything that I didn’t have to be just on a women’s team. And then when I got out of school, it really made me, first of all have more time to put in thinking about my identity. And then it also gave me the opportunity to do individual sports, which I didn’t have to be on a team.

So you know, coming into running, cycling, triathlon, duathalon all of those things were things that I could do just leaving my front door and not have to go into a locker room or a restroom assigned to a gender. I didn’t have to go be on a team that was a women’s team. And so facing that really made me think okay, if I’m so uncomfortable doing the thing that I love the most, then something has to change.

Imara Jones: What then changed for you?

Chris Mosier: It came to a point where I really had to make a decision. Am I going to participate in sports and not fully show up as who I am? Or am I going to give up sports completely. And so that was the point of having to make a decision, do I tolerate this life that I’ve been living? Or do I jump and, and see what else can happen?

Imara Jones: So when you stepped back from sports, what came up for you, in this apparent conflict between your transness and your athleticism?

Chris Mosier: Well, there was no time away. Running in a lot of ways is like therapy for me. And so, you know, long rides, long runs, I can think about all of this stuff, I thought about how I would tell my parents, how I would come out to my family, how I could come out at work like, and then I realized pretty quickly that I have to train super hard to continue to compete, the world just doesn’t think that someone like me is going to be competitive in sports, no one was out there thinking that someone assigned female at birth was going to be competitive in the men’s category. And so I felt extra pressure to prove myself and to see if it could be done.

Imara Jones: Right. So you wanted to compete again, ultimately settled on track and field. But there are a series of governing bodies at the local, state, national and international level, which decides on who can compete. Did you have to push for these spaces to open for you? Or did they say, “Oh, this makes sense. We never thought about it like this before. Welcome.”

Chris Mosier: Well, in myself, they were essential and they go together. But in the world, I think there was a real slow push, a gradual push, a constant push that happened as I decided to transition to make sure that I could open up those spaces for myself. And then pretty quickly after understanding that I could open up these spaces for sport for myself, I realized that I can do it for a lot of other people just by doing it for myself.

So it was a constant push of going, you know, contacting the races, contacting the race organizations, both leagues, the teams to say, “Hey, this is who I am. And how are you going to show up for me? What are your rules? What is your policy, and you don’t have one, like, let’s make one because I’m not willing to walk away from this.” I felt like I was pulling some of these organizations along as we went, but I just refused to step away, I decided that they would have to push me away, I sent a lot of emails, I wanted that paper trail, I did not anticipate that it would be easy. And so I would message the person at the race organization that I thought was the right one to go to.

Inevitably, that person would forward my information on to five of their colleagues and say, “I don’t know, but maybe one of these people know,” you know, suddenly, I found myself on email chains with 25, 30, 40 people. And it was draining. I mean, I think anytime that a trans person has to advocate for themselves, it can become exhausting, particularly with people who have no idea. And it wasn’t that they were being offensive.

It wasn’t that they were trying to exclude me, it was simply that this had never crossed their radar before. And they had no idea what to do with me. And so there was this exhaustion on my side of really wanting to be a part of what I’ve loved for so long. So there were running organizations in New York City, USA Triathlon, the International Triathlon Federation. And then ultimately, when I made Team USA in 2015, I challenged the International Olympic Committee on their policy for trans athletes.

I’ve been training this entire time, I’ve been trying to make Team USA, trying to make the international World Championships. But I think more than anything, I just felt a sense of relief when it was over, like, “Okay, checked it off,” like, “Okay, good. got that done. Now, now get back to training.”

Imara Jones: So after the bureaucratic warfare you went through, how did it feel to get the news that you could compete internationally, that you can represent the country on Team USA?

Chris Mosier: I think there was relief. And then there was probably a little bit of frustration, because none of my other competitors had to be thinking about this as they were training for World Champs. But what is exciting about that is that, again, to shift my perspective, my hope is that no other athlete has to do that, has to feel those things because of that process, because of me being able to help create that change. And so, you know, I want nothing more than for CeCé Telfer to have an incredible experience on her journey to the Olympics. And even though I haven’t been to the Olympics yet, and it’s probably not in my future as an athlete, I’m incredibly proud of being able to create that pathway for CeCé at the highest level of her sport.

Imara Jones: So I’m wondering if you can tell us how it felt to finally be able to compete as yourself for the first time.

Chris Mosier: You–there are very few times in my life that I’ve been speechless. That might, that might have actually been one of them. To be able to fully show up as myself at the starting line, I think it just was able to take all of the worries and frustrations and anxiety that I had about being misgendered, about being harassed, about people questioning whether or not I belonged where I was. And well, some people may have been still looking at me going, you know, “What is he doing here?”

In my mind, all of that was alleviated. And I could put all of those thoughts and concerns all of that energy into my training into my racing and so on race day, showing up fully as myself being able to compete as a man, knowing that my results would be in the men’s category. It was just euphoric. It was, it was just joyful. This race, it was an Ironman race. My first one that I did as male. It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. 

Imara Jones: I’m just exhausted even hearing that. 

Chris Mosier: It was a lot. Yeah, so, see you got it. It’s a long, hard race. And in the final hour of that race, I just kept thinking about how I signed up for this. And this is something that I’m doing for fun, because I feel good doing it. 

Imara Jones: The people who attack trans people in sports. What do you think they miss about us? What aren’t they getting?

Chris Mosier: I think it’s the humanity of trans people in general. I was laughing this morning, before I got on here with you, thinking about, like, what happened during COVID that helped these folks sort of ramp their transphobia up to the next level? Because we are seeing attacks against our community, on multiple levels, in sports, in health care, in identification, in birth certificate changes, like across the board, categorically targets on our community. What happened? Well, I think that it’s a recent study shows that 80% of Americans say that they don’t think that they know anybody who’s transgender.

Imara Jones: Actually, I think it’s nearly 90%. Yes.

Chris Mosier: Is it that high? So when you put it in that perspective, if all you read are the tweets from people who hate us, if all you read are the op eds, and the articles that unfairly cover us, then you’re not going to have a good perspective on who trans people are, and who we are in sport. And there are so few of us competing at a level that gets national visibility. But those of us who do get visibility in a negative way, we are villainized.

My experience as a white trans man has been incredibly different than CeCe’s experiences as a Black trans woman. And so put it in that perspective of saying there’s a racial component, there’s a sexism component, and misogyny component, all of this gets factored in. And the media has taken off with some of these stories and sculpted these narratives that are completely inaccurate, to say that trans people are dominating in sports.

And so I think there’s just a lack of understanding of the fact that we are people and who we are as people, we are not monsters, we are not here to destroy sports, we are literally just people doing what we love.

Imara Jones: What bothers you most about these attacks from the anti-trans right? I mean, apart from the ignorance, sometimes they can just be downright vicious.

Chris Mosier: I am just raw about the way that kids are being treated. And I can’t imagine actually not being upset, not feeling, not being impacted by watching young people go to their state capitol, and talk to lawmakers in session to testify about who they are as trans kids, and what sport means to them and what it does for them to relate to their peers and the good things that they get out of it. And then to turn around, and have those lawmakers misgender them right on the spot. I feel like we’ve worked so hard to create pathways for kids in sport, that to now hear them being talked to and and dismissed and invalidated in their identities. It hurts me deeply.

Imara Jones: And so along those lines, keeping in mind that these are children and children might be hearing all of this, I’m wondering what you would say to a younger version of yourself that might be out there right now?

Chris Mosier: I mean, sadly, I say this to someone every day. And you know, there are a lot of kids out there who are feeling this. The first thing is that, you know, kids know themselves, so like, you know yourself better than anybody else. And I…my entire existence in the media has been to prove the point that you can be your authentic self, and continue to play the sports that you love. You don’t have to give up any part of your identity in order to be in this world. And whether lawmakers want to make that a problem or a difference or not, that’s on them.

But there is a space for us in sports. You don’t have to give up what you love. I had the opportunity to go to CeCe’s school. And distinctly, I told CeCe, and I’m just so proud of her now, “Never limit your greatness to make other people feel more comfortable.” And I think that’s the best representation of anything that I could tell any young athlete is, is that idea right there.

Imara Jones: Never limit your greatness to make other people feel more comfortable. Well, Chris, we want to thank you for not limiting your greatness. I know I can speak for everyone listening when we say that sports and trans people and the wider world are so much better off as a result. And I personally want to honor you and thank you for everything that you do, and for coming on today to talk about your experience.

Chris Mosier: All right, thank you so much.

Imara Jones: That was Chris Mosier, talented and gifted trans athlete and six-time member of Team USA. 

If you liked what you heard, please go to Apple Podcasts to rate and review us. You can listen to TransLash wherever you get your podcasts. Please check us out on the web at translash.org to sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s awesome.

You should all be signed up for it. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @translashmedia, like us on Facebook and tell your friends. The TransLash Podcast is produced by TransLash Media.

The TransLash team includes Oliver-Ash Kleine, Montana Thomas, and Yannick Eike Mirko. Our intern is Mirana Munson-Burke. Alexander Charles Adams does the sound editing for our show. Our digital strategy is handled by Daniela Capistrano. The music you heard was composed by Ben Draghi, and also courtesy of ZZK Records.

Hey TransLash fam. So, um, I am going to tell you all about something that I did that I want you to check out, it’s from earlier this week. On Monday, with Spotify, I collaborated on a playlist for International Women’s Day.

This is Women’s History Month and so I put together an entire show that I chose and DJ’d and gave kind of the commentary in between an entire hour long show that is focused on the songs that inspired me as a woman and as a Black trans woman trying to create space for herself in the world and me drawing inspiration for other women who’ve done that through their voice and their creativity and how that lifts me up. So you should go check that out. Either on my social medias, it exists. It’s @imarajones, kind of all my social media or imarajones.com which is my website where it also is, and take an hour and 20 minutes Come on a musical journey with me of other women who inspire and lift me and raise me up.

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I am a trans woman living in Texas. I went on 12 job interviews before I got my yes. When I was living as a dude I never left an interview without a ...start date and a firm offer. I went from demanding jobs to begging for jobs. Don't tell me trans people have equal rights!

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