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How one trans equestrian rider inspired another in his transition journey

Letter to an LGBTQ role model: Jay Robinson shared his love of horses with his friend Bean, who helped give him the strength during his transition.

Jay Robinson with Sander.
Jay Robinson with Sander.

In honor of Pride Month, Outsports is asking LGBTQ people in sports to write a letter to a role model. The only criteria is that the role model identifies as LGBTQ. Today, equestrian rider Jay Robison writes to fellow rider Eric Zegar, known as Bean. The two of them grew up riding together in New York. They both identify as trans.

Dear Bean,

I yearned for the confidence I possessed as a child and I saw it on your face the day you walked into the barn after your top surgery.

I had started to lose faith that I’d ever grasp it again because I’d been unhappy and uncomfortable in my skin for as long as I could remember. I claimed that I didn’t know why, but I think I was just scared.

I had a vague idea of what being trans meant; however, I’d never been close to anyone who identified as such. You demonstrated that I didn’t have to be afraid though because no matter how hard things got, you never faltered.

I’m sure there were times where you were afraid. Moments where you questioned whether or not you were strong enough to finish the journey you’d embarked upon. It’s human nature. Nonetheless, you never let it show.

I watched you overcome each and every obstacle in your path with grace and poise while your confidence skyrocketed. You see, we’re usually capable of more than we think we are. Most people are just too scared to step outside their comfort zone, even if it means sacrificing their happiness. I didn’t want to be one of those people.

Bean, with Mexi.
Bean with Mexi.

You were the first person I came out to and you stuck by me through every step of my transition. We don’t see each other as often anymore, but there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about you.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without you and I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am to have you in my life. I know you’ll always be there for me and I hope you know that I’ll always be there for you too. After all, we barn rats have to stick together.

Your friend,
Jay

Jay Robinson graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in May 2020 and lives in Los Angeles. He was a member of the Savannah College of Art and Design equestrian team. He can be reached on Instagram @jrobb_83 or via email (jaykrobinson83@gmail.com).

Read Robinson’s coming out story.

If you want to write a letter to an LGBTQ role model, drop us a message at outsports@gmail.com or direct message Twitter or Instagram (@outsports).