Amelia Gapin, an out trans woman, is one of finalists for the Women's Running Magazine Cover contest. She was chosen from about 3,000 submissions, and the winner will be chosen by the readers in an online vote. You can vote once per day on the Women's Running Web site.
Gapin is a founder of MyTransHealth, which aims to connect trans people to information and healthcare providers sensitive to and cognizant of trans health issues.
To be perfectly honest, this is a super surreal thing to me. When I entered, I didn't think there was any chance I'd be chosen as a finalist. Just a quick look at the bios of the other seven finalists makes it clear some really amazing women with incredible stories entered. When I read their bios, my immediate reaction was that I don't belong among them.
I do have a lot of conflicting feelings about things like this. If you read my bio on the site, I'm not hiding being transgender. I'm pretty upfront about it. However, I've always hated the idea of being treated like I'm special. I don't want to be on the cover of a magazine simply because I was born with the wrong junk and being trans is all the rage in the media these days. I have no desire to play into the voyeurism of trans lives by cis (not trans) people.
I voted for Gapin not because she should be treated like she's "special," but because of the powerful message her inclusion sends and will send when she's chosen. Now is the time for LGBT visibility and equality, and I'm so glad she has stepped into the light for us.
Hat tip to A. Herrmann.