Body Issue & ESPYs Pre-Party

Tuesday night was the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue release party and the pre-ESPY Awards celebration at The Avalon in Los Angeles. It was my first time on the red carpet at an event – what a weird experience! Basically it’s standing in two or three spots and looking at 8-10 cameras while photographers call for your attention. All the while, I was trying to not look silly, and a big part of that is figuring out: do I not smile? Do I smile? Do I just smize? 🙂

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Well, I did it! And it turned out okay!

It was also the first time I saw the Body Issue in print, which was very cool. I’m thrilled this moment was captured by Getty Images:

at the BODY at ESPYS Event on July 12th at Avalon Hollywood.

And my brother was behind the photographers, catching a bit of that as well.

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I also got a chance to talk to some reporters about trans inclusion in sports. While I was talking, Dwanye Wade, Gabrielle Union, and Greg Louganis all hit the red carpet, which was both awesome and inspired me to hurry up and get out of the way!

Inside the club, huge projections of the Body Issue athletes were around the room, and smaller framed print outs were hung around the entry and the upstairs rooms. It was cool to see everyone’s alternate photos – they were all stunning – and to see all of the people there to celebrate.

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The live entertainment was Bell Biv Devoe, which was a blast from the past. I saw a bunch of people I have admired for years and didn’t talk to any of them, and saw loads of new stars – some I knew and some I didn’t know until watching Sports Center the next day – and didn’t talk to many of them either. Most of the groups of famous people stuck within their group, from what I saw. I was trying to find a balance between being honored and a fan, and decided to play it cool. It was phenomenal people watching!!

In all, it was a great experience. And I learned that there is much for me to learn about other sports since I haven’t watched TV in many, many, many years except for on an occasional plane ride.

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ESPN: The Body Issue

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It’s official! I am a part of the 2016 Body Issue! I shot my part before my trip to Spain – I’ll detail the whole experience once the issue is released. I am equal parts excited and overwhelmed with excitement (they are little different), but I am so pumped to be a part of this, for a few reasons:

  1. For 29 years, I did not want to have my photo taken. What I saw reflected back (and documented forever) did not align with the way I felt inside, or how I saw myself. I am so proud to be at a point where I am comfortable in my own skin.
  2. I think it’s important for people to see that trans athletes exist, and be an example for others. I am not saying yall need to take your clothes off! I’m just saying, visibility is a powerful tool to fight against oppression and discrimination.
  3. The first thing I said to the reporter who profiled me in October was, “I want to be in the Body Issue.” They passed it on and the rest is history. SO COOL.
  4. I wanted to share my abs with you. 🙂

Look at this list! From the first two paragraphs of the ESPN article announcing the names:

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, UFC fighter Conor McGregor, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta are among the athletes who will shed their clothes to appear in ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue.

Ten men and nine women will appear in the magazine, which announced the athlete list for the eighth annual Body Issue on Tuesday. The featured participants include Team USA duathlete Chris Mosier, who will be the first transgender athlete to pose.

Check this link for a sneak preview video, and look for the release on July 6 online and July 8 in print.