VIDEO: First Openly Transgender NCAA Division I Athlete, Schuyler Bailar, Debunks Myths about Transgender Athletes in Human Rights Campaign Video

by Aryn Fields

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a new video featuring male swimmer and the first openly transgender NCAA Division I athlete, Schulyer Bailar. In the video, Bailar breaks down several myths about transgender athletes, specifically transgender female athletes, that have gained wide-spread traction amid the surge in transgender sports-bans in state legislatures.

The full video can be viewed below and at this link:

Bailar swam all four years at Harvard and is the author of Obie Is Man Enough and creator of the gender literacy learning series.

“Many people have questions about transgender athletes and have no clear place to turn for the answers: this video provides the answers. Schuyler thoughtfully lays out how these myths are rooted in misinformation and are discredited time and again—transgender women do not pose any threat to women’s sports. The decades-long, systemic sexism and racism that plagues women’s sports is the true threat. We are grateful to Schuyler, and transgender athletes everywhere, for paving the way toward a more equitable athletic arena.”

Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President

Transgender and non-binary athletes, especially transgender female athletes, are under attack by politicians at all levels of government, as well as in the media. 2021 officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history, with 27 anti-LGBTQ bills enacted. This year is on track to surpass 2021 in anti-transgender legislation filed, with more than 75 bills that directly target transgender girls and women in sports and would prevent them from playing on the team that aligns with their gender identity.

These attacks on transgender youth generally, and transgender athletes specifically, are fueled by discrimination, not facts. These bills represent a cruel effort to further stigmatize and discriminate against LGBTQ+ people across the country, specifically transgender youth who simply want to live as their true selves and grow into who they are.

In addition to Bailar, numerous athletes at both the amateur and professional level have spoken out in support of their transgender teammates and competitors. This includes, Women’s World Cup champion soccer player Megan Rapinoe, tennis icon Billie Jean King, Stanford swimmer Brooke Forde, NBA star Dwyane Wade, Canadian soccer phenom Erin McLeod, WNBA star Napheesa Collier, and many more. Additionally, sports organizations like the Ivy League, the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), and others have spoken out publicly to defend trans people’s presence in sports.

For more information, please visit, HRC’s Transgender and Non-Binary People FAQ, HRC’s Brief Guide to Getting Transgender Coverage Right and HRC’s guide to Get the Facts about Transgender & Non-Binary Athletes.

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