NYU Moving Up Day

I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the NYU Moving Up Day celebration. It was a great opportunity to think about my journey, because I really began to settle into my identity as a trans guy during my time at NYU and while working in the NYU LGBTQ Student Center. It was a nice opportunity to reflect, share a bit of my journey with others, and celebrate the accomplishments of the amazing students there. And to be celebrated!

 

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Best of the Northeast!

Best-of-Competitor-2014-LogoI intend on posting my reflection piece later today, but I have to share my excitement for my club, my friends, and all of the winners of the Competitor Magazine “Best of 2014” Awards.

I was named Best Personal Trainer, tied with Empire Tri Club founder Alison Kreideweis. IMG_0966

Empire Tri Club was named Best Tri Club for the third year in a row, and our Giro di Santa bike ride was the best cycling event.

My friend Sara Hunninghake at Finish Line Physical Therapy was named Best Sports Massage, and Finish Line Physical Therapy was named Best Sports Rehab Center. Tailwind Endurance was named Best Spin Class (it’s NOT a spin class! it’s much better!), and New York Running Co was named Best Running Store Group Run (they host my new favorite weekly run, the Blockhouse trail run).

Congrats to all of my favorites – what a great way to cap off an amazing year!
Check out all of the winners here.

In memory of Mark Bingham

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Mark Bingham

We all mark important occasions in our own way. To say September 11 is an important occasion in the United States is a bit of an understatement, even 13 years after the attacks on in 2001. I have not felt the impact of this as much as others I know, but in the past year I’ve become closer to the events on 9/11 and find myself with different feelings this year.

This information is everywhere today, but the numbers are worth repeating: in 2001, attacks killed almost 3,000 people in New York, the Washington DC area and Pennsylvania. Annually on September 11, the United States observes six moments of silence marking the strikes on the towers, and the Pentagon, the collapse of the skyscrapers and the time United Airlines Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania.

I was not a New Yorker in 2001. I recall where I was when I found out, what I did for the next 48 hours, who I was with, and all of the feelings associated with that time. I moved to New York a few years later and annually I can see the great beams of light projected to the sky from my apartment window. It is an incredible sight. Last year I went to the memorial site on 9/11 to look at the museum and the items left by fellow NYers who lost loved ones. I’ve listened to the reading of the names, and cried without knowing any of the people personally.

9/11 is part of the history here that the city carries quietly with it every day. But it wasn’t until November that I felt a more personal connection to the event. That was when I had the pleasure of meeting Alice Hoagland, mother of Mark Bingham. Mark was a rugby player, and was one of the passengers on United Flight 93 who fought against the hijackers. Mark is considered one of the many heroes of 9/11.

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With the Mark Bingham “Athlete of the Year” award at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards 2013.

Alice has championed LGBT rights and the issue of airline safety in the years since Mark’s death. She also presented to me the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year award at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards from Compete Magazine. It was the first time the “Athlete of the Year” award was given under Mark’s name. I got to learn more about Mark’s story and his mother’s work; it was a great honor to receive this award, but even more so to be associated with Mark. It also added a face and a name and a story to the outcome of that day.

Mark’s actions on the flight were incredible, but he was an incredible guy before that trip, and is the focus of a documentary, The Rugby Player. He is also the inspiration for the Bingham Cup, a biennial international rugby union competition for gay and bisexual men.

As time passes, every year this memory feels differently to me. I remember the day, but don’t remember how I processed it on year five, or ten, or any in between. But today I’m spending some time being thankful that Mark and Alice have been introduced into my life, and reflecting on my special tie to them.

40 Under 40

I’m super excited to have been named one of the Advocate Magazine’s 40 Under 40: Emerging Voices. The little article they did about me was great to promote the visibility of trans* athletes – a much needed conversation in our athletic circles. chrismosier400Someone joked about it being my personal PR, and of course to an extent it is, but the bigger and more important topic is that of trans* athletes (me or anyone else) actually existing. And thriving. I didn’t know of any trans* men who were competitive athletes when I was considering transition. I didn’t know it was possible to be my authentic self and to maintain my identity as an athlete. So this article is an amazing signal boost, and the cherry on top of an already amazing past few months

I want every trans person or person figuring out their gender identity to know that trans and gender non-conforming people can be athletes. And win. 

Read my 40 Under 40 article here

Hall of Fame Induction

  IMG_7163 IMG_7169The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame induction was fantastic. It was great to see people I work with in the sports movement there, also being honored. I was a bit nervous for my speech, but used the opportunity to share my experience of not having any trans athlete role models when I was researching transition. Now, with myself and Fallon Fox being inducted this year, it seems that no athlete should think they can’t be trans and play the sport they love. 

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Trans 100

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On March 30, I joined an amazing group of folks in Chicago for the Trans 100 event. It was an amazing celebration of the diversity within the trans* community, and marked the announcement of the 2014 Trans 100 list. The list highlights the work of trans* folks creating change. Image

Trans 100 codirector Jen Richards explains that the Trans 100 is not a ‘Top 100,’ ‘Best Of,’ or the result of a vote by the public; it is an intentionally curated list of out trans people who are working on trans issues in the United States and having a positive impact. Honorees are selected on the basis of “doing work that has daily life impact in the service to the Trans Community.”

There were big names honored this year, like activist CeCe McDonald, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Carmen Carrera, Matrix writer/director Lana Wachowski, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, and 13-year-old Jazz. There were folks I’ve never met or heard of, which was equally cool – particularly to hear about people doing work in rural areas and parts of the country that I imagine to be more challenging.

ImageAlso, there were people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing in real life: fellow athletes Kye Allums, who gave a keynote speech at the event, and Fallon Fox; Original Plumbing magazine’s Amos Mac and Rocco Katastrophe; and my higher ed colleague TJ Jourian

The event was a great opportunity to meet some of the people on the list. The following day was Trans Day of Visibility, which celebrates the living and the work we are doing. It was a powerful weekend.

The complete list can be downloaded at the Trans 100 website.