Why trans + running?

I thought about starting a blog like this for a while, but, as is normally the case, life got in the way and time was, and still is, limited. Running and being transgender, two completely different topics with different communities that only have the occasional overlap, why would I try to combine writing about these two things on a single site? The idea seems kind of silly at first. It sounds like a recipe for an unfocused blog with zero readership. After all, non-runners won’t have much interest in the running stuff and cisgender (non-transgender) people won’t likely care much about trans issues. Why do I want to write about both? For me, it’s kind of simple, but let me see if I can explain this in a way that may make sense to someone who isn’t me…

I am a member of both the running and transgender communities. I wouldn’t ever claim to be an expert on either, but I know more than a little about being a runner and about being trans at this point. Both of these are very important to me and they are two of the biggest things in my life. Running because I love it and I choose to dedicate a lot of my life to it. It is fun to me and doing it improves my personal happiness. However, on the other side of things, I am trans because this is just how I was born. I don’t have any say in that one. If I could choose to not be trans…well, I don’t know what I would choose. That’s a whole discussion in itself, but I promise that there will be posts about that here.

Being trans means I often need to spend a lot of time fighting for some basic rights and to be respected as a human being. I don’t quite consider myself to be an activist, but I try to be vocal about what I believe in. When it comes to being trans, this is more out of necessity than anything else. I’d be much happier if being trans wasn’t something I needed to talk about. I don’t like having to fight for some basic rights, I’d much rather just talk about running. Maybe one day, that will be a reality for people like me. For now, I’m going to do my small part in advancing equality.

Okay, so why write about running and trans issues together? Normalization. Writing about trans stuff on a trans-only blog and on a Twitter account that is only followed by my friends and fellow trans people is kind of preaching to the choir. I’m not saying anything new over there and I’m certainly not the one saying it best. But if I can reach my other favorite community of people, then maybe I can help normalize trans people, lives, and experiences for those who may not know anything about us.

The running community was actually there for me before the trans community was. Not because I haven’t always been trans (I have…since April 15, 1983), but because I was unaware of its existence. Well, to be more accurate, I didn’t want to be aware of it. I wanted to stay in the closet and keep up the “I’m a guy” charade. When I was ready to drop the act, the trans community was there with open arms for me. However, I can and want to be active in both communities.

Trans people are normal people and, really, that’s about all we ask for, to be treated like everyone else. Like humans. We don’t want special treatment. My hope is that if I can mix writing about running and trans issues here, in one place, my fellow runners can see we’re normal people and can get a glimpse into what our lives are like. So posts about running are there to say “hey, look, we’re the same!” and posts about trans issues say “but this is what my life is like and this is why we need your help.” The running community is only a very small subset of people and I don’t expect to have much in the way of readership or convince many people, but a few would be nice. It’s worth a shot.

I guess the reality is my target audience is more runner than trans person, but I hope I can bridge the gap and write well and interestingly enough about both topics that this isn’t just a blog for runners. My goal is to try to strike the right balance between being a running blogger and a trans activist so as to not too much of one or the other. And since I’m more than just a transgender runner, I hope to be able to include a few other things from time to time without losing focus.

So thanks for coming by and, please, try to keep an open mind. We can totally be friends and maybe run a race or two together sometime! <3

18 Comments

  1. thank you so much for this blog!! I’m a transboy and in the running i feel like an outlier and vice versa! I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone out there!

  2. I discovered your blog by happen stance through my Facebook threads. I’m proud mama to a brave transgirl who let us know that we’d been calling her the wrong name (and gender) at 5 years old. Boy, did we have a steep learning curve! I’ve been trying to encourage my daughter (now 14) to run; I think it is a GREAT mental outlet. She has reluctantly participated in track and field and then was delighted to be awarded “most improved” in cross country. I am going to share your blog with her to let her know that she is NOT alone. I’m grateful to have discovered you!

    • Hiii!!!!

      There’s actually a whole Facebook group of us that I run. I can send you an invite to join if you want!

      • Hi Amelia!!

        It made me so excited to find your blog and that there’s a group on facebook for women like us 😀 I would love to join, I’ve been an avid runner for years and I’m just beginning my transition, I’m beyond grateful for any help/support I can get 😀

        • Awesome! I’ll send an invite to the email address you entered with your comment! 🙂

          • Hi! I know you’re super busy, but I couldn’t find an invite to the group 🙁 could you send it again please? It’d mean the world to me as I begin my transition 🙂

  3. Amelia! I just discovered this blog. I’d love into the facebook group! I’m a Berkeley based, Jersey raised trans woman and marathon runner!

    (Also, hope you’ve been able to start running a bit as you heel! I got my V in September and am finally feeling like I’m back in tip-top shape)

      • Amelia! I feel like my grandmother, in that I can’t figure out how to get your facebook invite to work! It keeps saying ‘Person Cannot Be Invited’ 🙁

        I’m confused! Can you send again? Thank you! Excited to meet other trans runners.

  4. “cisgender (non-transgender) people won’t likely care much about trans issues”

    Not really a positive idea to propagate don’t you think?

  5. Hi Amelia, I just came across your website,and I love it. After a 7 year hiatus from running, partially from not having the energy from the lack of T back when I started my transition, to just life in general. But with my surgery coming up at the end of the year, I needed to get back into shape. You are a big inspiration to myself on both the trans aspect as well as being a runner.

    • Hey Chloe! Thanks for the reply! I’m so glad to inspire! <3

      If you're interested, I run a Facebook group for trans runners. We'd love to have you! Just let me know and I can send an invite to the email you used for the comment. 🙂

  6. Amelia,
    I am so happy to find your blog, you are an incredible inspiration. I am a marathon runner (only 4 so far…) and also trans. I was hoping to find a “contact” link to send you an email, if you had the time. Nothing crazy or weird, just one confused trans woman reaching for help. I understand if you don’t, but thank you so much for all that you do. This blog and your story brought me many happy tears..

Leave a Reply