Caitlin Parker (AUS) in red and Hergie Bacyadan (PHI) in blue compete in the elite female 75kg category at Pueblo Convention Center. | Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Name: Hergie Bacyadan
Country: Philippines
Sport: Boxing, 75kg
Previous Olympic experience: None
Social Media: Instagram / TikTok

Who is Hergie Bacyadan

Filipino boxer Hergie Bacyadan has historic goals for both himself and his nation in his sights during his Olympic debut next month. Bacyadan, who identifies as a trans man, joins the largest contingent of Filipino boxers to qualify for the Olympics in 28 years in their effort to build on multiple medal wins at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Bacyadan brings a combat sports pedigree to the boxing ring. He won the 2023 world championship in women’s vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art that combines elements of boxing, judo and wushu, and earned silver medals at major competitions in both vovinam and wushu.

Though Bacyadan identifies as a trans man, he competes in the women’s divisions because he hasn’t undergone hormone replacement therapy.

He proudly proclaims that he’s never taken testosterone on his social media accounts and stood up to claims to the contrary after the Russian vovinam team requested that his gold medal win in 2023 be nullified because he was a “man.”

Knowing his strong stance against the discrimination he faced during competition, it is no surprise that Bacyadan has used his status to advocate for the Filipino LGBTQ community. He and his wife publicly supported the passage of legislation that would protect Filipinos from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hergie Bacyadan at the Paris Summer Olympics

Bacyadan will compete in the Women’s 75kg division, the heaviest weight class in Olympic Women’s Boxing.

Bacyadan isn’t shy about the pride he feels in representing the Filipino LGBTQ community on the world stage. “That’s right, to our fellow [members of] the LGBTQ+ community, I’m proud to be one of the ones who were included in the Paris Olympics,” he told ABS-CBN News. “We will perform better to make a difference.”

Should Bacyadan earn a medal, he would be the first trans male athlete in Olympic history to do so. At the same time, he will look to bring the gold medal that has so far eluded Filipino boxers despite the nation’s strong boxing culture.

“My biggest motivation is my family, my tribe in Kalinga, and the people who believe in me that I can win a medal here at the Paris Olympics,” Bacyadan said.