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CeCé Telfer chronicles her journey in upcoming autobiography

The NCAA’s first out trans individual champ seeks to bring hope in telling her life story.

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CeCé Telfer share her story in an upcoming autobiography, “Make It Count”, slated for release in June 2024
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

May 25, 2024, will mark the fifth anniversary of CeCé Telfer becoming the first out transgender student-athlete to earn an individual NCAA national championship.

In June 2024, her story behind and beyond the story will hit the bookshelves.

Telfer announced via social media Wednesday that her memoir, titled “Make It Count”, will be released during Pride Month.

The book marks her journey from her childhood in Jamaica to emigrating to Canada and later the United States.

It will also document her struggle through transition to renewing her passion for track which ended up with triumph in her senior year at NCAA Division II Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.

“Filled with all the emotions, this was a hard one to tell,” she said on her Instagram. “I hope that my book will bring hope, help and inspire the generation behind us, along with anyone reading.”

Telfer initially competed on the men’s team at Franklin Pierce while struggling with her gender identity.

The turmoil led her to leave the team after the 2017 competitive season. She moved forward with her transition while sitting out 2018 to meet the NCAA mandate of being on hormone replacement therapy for at least one year.

She returned to competition for the 2019 indoor and outdoor seasons as a member of the women’s track and field team at Franklin Pierce. She earned All-America honors with a sixth-place effort in the 60-meter hurdles at Division II indoor nationals.

In the outdoor season, she also contested the 400-meter hurdles and found her stride in one of track and field’s most demanding events.

At her school’s conference meet that season, she won three events and was named Most Outstanding Performer of the meet.

One warm late May evening in Kingsville, Texas, Telfer settled in the blocks in the Division II women’s final in the 400-meter hurdles. She ended up with a historic first national title in a dominant performance. Later that year, she was named Outsports’ Female Athlete of the Year.

Since winning that national championship, she continued to run in hopes of competing in the U.S. Trials for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Post-college, she struggled to find coaching and support yet stayed resolute in training, even through the COVID crisis in 2020 that postponed the Tokyo Olympics until 2021.

In May 2021, Telfer was granted U.S. citizenship and looked to have landed a place in the Olympic Trials, but World Athletics regulations regarding transgender participation, specific to her event at the time, kept her out.

USA Track and Field officials stated that Telfer did not meet the World Athletics guidelines to be eligible. The conditions she failed to reach were not disclosed publicly.

Even with the current ban on trans women participating in women’s events, Telfer continues to press on by running at meets not sanctioned by World Athletics. She also forged a growing modeling career in addition to being a voice for trans rights amid a harsh climate for trans people.

“Their decision has shattered my dreams of being a medalist in the Olympics, but it’s not going to keep me back,” she stated to CNN Sport on the same day World Athletics put forth their policy last March.

“I’ll continue to compete however I can, and I’ll stand up for what is right.”