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Celebrating LGBTQ sports history: Chris Mosier is a trailblazer in athletics and advocacy

Every day in October we’re looking back at the athletes, coaches and events that made LGBTQ sports history.

chris mosier team usa
Chris Mosier, 2015

Every day this month, we’re looking back at our pioneers, the mark they left on our community and on the sports world, plus landmark events and stories that show Courage Is Contagious.

Today: We’re looking back at June 6, 2015, when transgender endurance athlete Chris Mosier earned a spot on Team USA to compete in the sprint duathlon at the 2016 World Championship in Spain.

He was the first, and yes: “he/him/his” are his pronouns.

Five years ago, trans man Chris Mosier competed alongside cisgender men and finished 37th in the overall men’s category of the sprint duathlon out of 117 competitors, with a time of 1:02:45.48.

But he finished seventh in his men’s 35-39 category, and as one of the top eight finishers, he was named to the national team.

In so doing, Mosier became the first out transgender athlete to earn a spot on Team USA, which he told Outsports was his “number one goal” for 2015.

“Many transgender athletes stop competing when they transition categories” he said. “I want people to know it is possible to maintain an identity as an athlete and transition. When I was considering transition, I did not see transgender men competing at a high level in the way I aspired to compete. I am excited to be a visible example for other trans athletes or people considering a medical transition.”

Prior to this accomplishment, Mosier received the USA Triathlon’s Spirit Award. And in May 2016. he made history again by qualifying for a second event in Spain: the long-course duathlon, in addition to the sprint duathlon.

As a trans male, Mosier takes testosterone for medical purposes and has had to get approval from the United States Anti-Doping Agency. This requires medical records and blood tests, doctors notes, and a packet of paperwork. He receives regular tests to make sure his testosterone levels are in normal male range.

On June 5, 2016, Mosier represented the United States at the Sprint Duathlon World Championship in Aviles, Spain, where he completed the race, which was a 5k run, 21k bike, 2.8k run, in a time of 1:06:29. He was the second-fastest American male in the category, and placed 146 out of 433 of all men, and placed 26 out of 47 men in the 35-39 age group.

“I am proud of this moment, not only for my own athletic career, but also for the sports equality movement as a whole,” he said at that time. “This opens the doors for other transgender athletes. I am excited that others can see this moment and know it is possible to continue to compete at a high level while being your authentic self.”

In Santee, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2020, Mosier made history once again by competing in the Olympic qualifying race walk in the gender category matching his gender identity. He was the first trans athlete to qualify for an event in his authentic gender, and although an injury prevented him from finishing, Mosier told fans: “This isn’t the end — on the contrary, this is very early in this new chapter. And I will say now with confidence: this is not my last race or last Olympic Trials.”

“Dreams,” he posted on Instagram, “have no expiration date.”

That was January 2020. Want proof of the intensity of his pursuit? Check out Mosier’s Instagram from August:

While recuperating Mosier has kept a busy schedule advocating for trans youth across the country, especially in Idaho, where a law was enacted banning trans girls from competing, and they aren’t the only ones endangered by this wrong-headed law.

Mosier is a Nike BeTrue athlete and earlier this year he partnered with the brand for The Chris Mosier Project, a documentary film:

Follow Chris Mosier on Twitter and Instagram.

We’ll have another LGBTQ Sports history story tomorrow and every day through Oct. 31.