Chris Mosier, an out trans triathlete and duathlete, has qualified for the U.S. Men's National Team in the long-course duathlon. It's his second national team, previously named to the sprint duathlon team. The duathlon is a combination of cycling and running.
Of the 233 finishers in the men's category, Mosier finished in the top 16% at 37th place. He finished fifth in his 35-39 age group, qualifying him for the men's U.S. National Team in his age group.
What's more, the long-course duathlon national championship was held in Cary, N.C., just outside of the state capital of Raleigh, where less than two months ago state legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory passed a discriminatory bill targeting trans people like Mosier.
"I have mixed feelings," Mosier told Outsports. "It feels great to have made the US National Team while in North Carolina - I earned a spot to represent Team USA in a state with policies that intentionally target transgender people for differential treatment and exposes us to potential violence and harassment.
"I don't think many other athletes were worrying about their safety at the event, but my safety was definitely on my mind in the weeks leading up to the race. I remain disappointed that other transgender people and trans athletes are at risk every day in the state. North Carolina is among the worst states in the country for transgender high school and college athletes, as well as other trans and gender non-conforming people."
To the casual observer, the idea of a trans man earning a spot on not just one but two men's national teams may seem like a surprise. For those who know Mosier and have been following him on Instagram and other social media, they know the hard work he has put into his sport and the incredible determination that drives him. His success in these national competitions has driven policy-changing conversations across sports, and his example is an inspiration for every trans athlete. Even with all of that on his shoulders, Mosier has done what policy creators a decade ago never even considered possible.
Mosier will be in Aviles, Spain, for the Duathlon World Championships, June 4-5, where he will compete in the spring world championship. He will compete in 2017 for the long-course world championship. Christina Kahrl, herself an out trans baseball editor, will be covering his performance in Aviles for ESPN. Pretty cool.