Meet the Transgender NCAA Swimmer from Harvard | Identify


(IN 2016, THE INTERNATIONAL
OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (RULED THAT TRANSGENDER
ATHLETES COULD COMPETE (WITHOUT UNDERGOING SURGERY. (THIS POLICY MADE HISTORY IN
THE SPORTS WORLD, (WELCOMING A NEW GENERATION OF
ATHLETES INTO (THE OLYMPIC FAMILY. (SCHUYLER BAILAR IS AN ATHLETE
ON THE MEN’S SWIMMING (AND DIVING TEAM AT HARVARD
UNIVERSITY. (THIS IS HIS STORY.) I’ve just always loved being
underwater. When I jump in,
the water’s always cold, and it kind of shocks my system into, like, being quiet
for a second. Sometimes I just kind of stay
underwater for like a second too long, and it’s always that kind of
moment of, “This is the only thing I’m
supposed to be doing right now. “This is the only place I need
to be.” That brings me a lot of peace, I think, that I don’t have
in my daily life. OK, who wants tea? – Tea, I want tea.
– I’ll have some, please. – OK.
– Please. What kind of tea? It’s green tea. That’s when you took my braids
out right? That was in West Virginia. Schuyler’s swimming started in
the bathtub. He was just always so
comfortable in the water, and before he learned to walk
he was swimming on his own. Go Schuyler! I don’t know if I’ve ever
thought of myself as a talented swimmer. When I was younger,
I wasn’t very good. There were a lot of people who were bigger and stronger
than me, but I’ve always worked hard. This is my bird Chico.
I’m Schuyler, this is Jinwon… Schuyler was a tomboy. He was much more comfortable
in cargo pants and a T-shirt than anything else. People handed me skirts, and I would throw on basketball
shorts. Or, like, people handed me the word
“girl”, and I would hand them
back “tomboy”. It wasn’t like I thought about
it a whole lot, until it became a thing that
people said, “Oh, like Schuyler’s
different,” or, “Schuyler doesn’t do other
things other girls do,” and then it became conscious to
me because I was like, “If I do these things, people
are going to see me as a boy. “OK, I’m going to keep doing
them.” When I was younger and my coach
told me I could be good, and my mom and I were watching the
Olympics that same year, I watched all of the women
swimmers at that point, and their chests were
really flat, and this was the point where my
breasts had started growing, and I remember being like,
“Mom, “how come they don’t have
any boobs?” and Mom was like, “Well, when
you exercise that hard, “a lot of female Olympians
don’t have boobs, “because they don’t have enough
fat in their body,” and I was like, “Oh, my God.
This is incredible!” At that point, that was
a huge fear of mine because I knew that my body was
about to be kind of taken from me in a way that I didn’t
want it to, and so there was definitely
a huge point in my thought process where I was
like, “OK, I’m going to be good
at swimming.” Schuyler’s swimming career kind
of took off in high school… ..and he started breaking
records both in the local area
as well as at the national level on
a relay team. I think when I was younger I was intent on doing things
because I liked them, but I got lost in high school, and started just doing things because I wanted to do well in
them. Schuyler broke his back the
summer before his junior year, and junior year is recruiting
year for swimming, and so it was actually quite
emotional. Up until that point, I had used
swimming as my everything. It was my release.
It was my pleasure. It was my social life. It was my motivation.
It was my…my day. It was definitely a way
to block everything else out. Breaking my back broke me. I fell so far into depression, eventually
an eating disorder, um, and a lot of it was because
I didn’t have another way to release anything, and I didn’t know how to deal
with my own feelings. I had never had to sit down and
really think about who I was or what I wanted
out of the world. I didn’t have any words
to explain why I felt so
uncomfortable with my body, and the biggest thing was that
I did have everything. I was doing really well
in school. I had just gotten recruited to
swim at Harvard, and I had gotten accepted into
Harvard. I had made the National Age
Group record. I was swimming fast, and I was
like, “What is wrong with me?” There was no gender discussion,
by the way, at that time. It was just all about, um, getting to know who he was and getting to fix some of
these issues, and we found a facility that
seemed to be a match with that. He graduated, and then the day
after, we went to Florida where we
took Schuyler into the facility where he would spend 131 days, and he did a lot of really
difficult work there and… ..started the process of
becoming whole. At treatment you’re not allowed
to do any behaviours. They keep a very close watch
on you, so I literally had zero ways
to cope, and had to talk about
my feelings, and had to talk about how
I felt and my identity, and that was the first place
that I was finally able to say that I was transgender. Hey, guys. Um, so I’m Schuyler. I’m about to start my physical
transition. Um, FTM, female to male. Er, and I thought that it would
be good to document it. It took me another year until I
told most of my friends, and asked them to call me
male pronouns, and refer to me as a boy, and kind of solidify the idea of like, “Oh, this has actually
always been me, “and I’m not actually,”
you know, “changing myself. “I’m just presenting the truest
part of myself.” I’m going to be swimming next
year in college. Um, so that makes it
complicated because I want to transition as soon as
possible, but you can’t swim competitively and take
hormones. So what I’m gonna do… ..er, is get top surgery.
So I… ‘When I was allowed to have top
surgery, ‘it was probably one of the
best days of my life.’ You kind of see that, you know,
they’re there. I hate that. Let’s take a look in the
mirror, OK? – So, big difference.
– Yeah. You can see… I thought that it was going to
be me transitioning, and being true to being trans, or me being true to me being
a swimmer, and that was really hard
because I thought, you know, “Both of these are me.” It was an agonising decision
for Schuyler to consider giving up everything he had worked for
his whole life, in terms of his swimming.
It was really hard to realise, “Oh, I’m not maybe going to be
this champion swimmer that “I thought I was going to be, “that everyone told me I was
going to be.” I first heard of Schuyler
through Stephanie Morawski. She’s our women’s head coach of
swimming and diving. Stephanie and I had been
talking about Schuyler, and some of the issues that Schuyler had outside
of swimming. Once we got to a point where Schuyler was thinking of
transitioning from female to male, Steph kept me in the loop as
far as that was concerned. I did work to educate
myself as far as NCAA rules. We found out that it was perfectly acceptable for
Schuyler to compete for Harvard Men’s
Swimming and Diving. I had conversations with
the young men on the team, and everybody was open
to the idea. The men’s coach was like, “Well, if Schuyler identifies
as male, “and I have a men’s team, “and he wants to swim,
why doesn’t he swim for me?” But I almost said no because I was so scared of the possibility of losing
everything, because, yeah, I’d be
able to swim, but I would transition, and my
body would be different, and I would lose all of my
accolades as a female athlete, and all the potential I had as
a female athlete. That was really scary to me because I had worked really
hard to be successful at swimming. At that point, I decided, “OK,
I’ve got to take this risk. “I’ve got to try to be myself “because maybe that will
make me happy.” On your mark, go! You’re doing a better job not
slowing down in your turns, but let’s get a bit wider in the foot placement
for both you guys. All right, 25 dive fast. Schuyler is one of the most
determined athletes I’ve ever met in my life. Hey, Matt, will you start me? Not only as a swimmer but,
more importantly, he’s an exceptional human
being and a really good team-mate. The grit and determination that
he’s shown is remarkable, and it’s helped me not only
become a better coach, but a better parent and hopefully a better
educator at Harvard. Your best swimmers have that
feeling that this is something they can’t
live without, and I think Schuyler can’t live
without being in the water. Five years ago, swimming meant 100%, unequivocally,
everything to me. I think over time, I’ve learned to have a bit more
balance than that. My family has never shown me a
lack of love, and that has been what’s kind of kept me alive. When I ended up biting
the bullet and telling my very
conservative Korean grandma, she said, “Schuyler, “you can be a son. You can be a
brother. You can be a husband. “You can be a boy, a man, “but Korean daughters take care
of their mothers, “and now your mom doesn’t have
any daughters “so you have to take care
of your mother “and your parents,”
and I was like, “OK. “I can definitely do that.” I have those words – take care
of your parents – tattooed on my side,
under my scar, next to my heart in my
grandmother’s handwriting. She wrote it for me
for the tattoo, and she was very
excited about it. “Thank you for taking this
eternal vow for your parents.” I don’t remember the Baltimore
harbour like this. Let’s get a picture over here. – Picture?
– Of us three. Got it. – OK, let’s keep walking.
– Let’s keep walking. Keep walking before we freeze. When I came out as trans, and when I decided to swim for
the men’s team, I told people around me,
my coaches, my parents, my friends, that I was going
to be open about it. When I was younger, I had no role models or people
to look up to and say, “Oh, I can do this.” I love motivational speaking because I’m really invested in
sharing my story, and sharing the possibility for
this kind of happiness and this kind of peace
with yourself, especially with something
so complicated as being transgender, but also so simple as just
wanting to be happy. Hello. Yeah, um, Schuyler Bailar.
He’s a speaker. In so many ways, Schuyler’s
story represents the stories of the remarkable young people whom we all teach
on our campuses, but his story has
a unique distinction. As the first openly
transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA division one team, he has been willing to share
his story globally. His willingness to share
his insights are why we are so pleased he is
with us today, and I ask you to join me in
welcoming Schuyler Bailar. Thank you so much, everybody.
I’m so happy to be here. I’ve spoken at high schools and middle schools,
elementary schools, and colleges, but I’ve never actually spoken
with just administrators before so this is really cool. Allowing me to be myself at
every step of the way from my coaches, my teachers,
my parents, has saved my life, and it’s why I’m here today. I want to just take you back to
when I was a kid. I was always a water baby. I’ve swum since the time I
could walk. Swimming has been the hugest
part of my life since before I can remember, and being true to myself as a trans person is also
hugely important to me. When I used to interact with
somebody, it was always, “Who are they going to think
I am?” And now I just walk into the
room, and I’m just myself. If I can be naked in a Speedo and expose my trans-ness
to everybody, you can do your thing too.

100 thoughts on “Meet the Transgender NCAA Swimmer from Harvard | Identify

  1. You can read more about the IOC Guidelines – defined by a team of medical specialists taking all the scientific evidence available into consideration – which includes testosterone level limits here: https://stillmed.olympic.org/Documents/Commissions_PDFfiles/Medical_commission/2015-11_ioc_consensus_meeting_on_sex_reassignment_and_hyperandrogenism-en.pdf

  2. The is no such thing as "transgender." People who believe they are in the wrong body are mentally ill, and should receive therapy and sympathy; these people are very unhappy with who they are. For the Olympics to support this insanity is very disturbing.

  3. I used to call myself NAPOLEON, and I dressed in period costumes; they locked me up. Lately I call myself JOSEPHINE; they compliment my dress and makeup. Who's crazy now?

  4. They want equality so let him do it if he’s happy but if you except one you have to take both so if you are ok with female to male than you have to be ok with male to female can’t have it one way have to take both it’s called equality not equality when it’s convenient

  5. Oh god this is so sad, I wish he could be happy without all of this, possibly a great female swimmer without those scars. It's hard to see someone voluntarily hurt themselves in pursuit of happiness. Can exposing oneself as a transgender in a Speedo really be the key to happiness? It can't be that simple Schuyler.

  6. Тут русские есть ?
    Может мне скажет кто , а между ног то у него что ?

  7. This is so real. I can't imagine my life without swimming, it's the only thing I have in life I'm truly passionate about. He's probably not exaggerating when he says he fell into depression. I would have too

  8. We watched this at school today with a bunch of other LGBTQ+ videos and short films, but this particular video hit very close to home for me. I love the water I always have, ever since I was a baby I've loved to swim and I got pretty good at it. But ever since coming out I haven't been able to go swimming, not once. It's been really hard coming out and dealing with what comes with that but the fact that I can't swim seems to make it worse. I have a fairly excepting family but it's still hard. And it's not even just the swimming part. The change rooms are a nightmare. I don't feel comfortable in a Male bathroom let alone a change room, but the thought of going in the female one makes me feel so dysphoric I can't even explain it. And yet, this video seems to give me some hope for the future, and it was definitely a reminder of how much I want top surgery

  9. So i could say im a guy and just dope to get on a higher level. Seems fair enough. Wouldn't that mean I could identify my age as a 10 and under and break every single record?

  10. So many comments saying it's okay for FtMs to compete but not MtFs are really being lazy with their logic.
    Fat, muscle, bone, even the cardiovascular system change with HRT. Trans people's hormones are constantly monitored. There is no "exact amount" of testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, but there is an average range, and trans people are kept within that range quite strictly.
    So when you strip it down to just the actual facts, y'all are saying MtFs shouldn't be allowed to compete due to their height and proportions. But your argument applies directly to saying that African athletes shouldn't be allowed to compete with East Asian athletes, because the average body proportions are so different. Not how it goes, fam. People have different physical makeups, but we all can compete together.
    You didn't used to know about trans people, and now you think they're invading everything, but they've been there for far longer than you've been alive. You're just gonna have to get used to knowing about it now.

  11. only because someone has an other opinion on transgender…doesnt mean that this person is transopgobic, srsly… i would never do that, and for me schuyler is still a girl and will ever be a girl, voice…feelings…wishes…whatever dont change gender. but saying that is not transphobic… i could say i dont feel like a man anymore and i dont like pants instead i like skirts…and i do things girls do…im gonna get a surgery and now im a girl ?…nah you cant change your gender, thats insane, God made man and woman, thats…biologic, by the way it sounds like she is trying to make her voice sound deeper, not a sign for a happy life, why dont accept yourself the way you are ?

    It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. "God"

    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. "God"

    Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. "Adam"

    It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

  12. If she can keep up I have no problem with her swimming in the men's category. Where I have a problem is when men compete in the woman category

  13. I have no kind of connection to transgenderness, college life or swimming. But I know a whole lot about the value of having supporting parents, and being free to be oneself in a world where there are lots of close-minded people. Great story, keep it up Schuyler! And hug your parents from me.

  14. It should be the other way around so that males can become females and swim faster by wearing half body suits or knee skins

  15. I hope every other woman that plans to be in the olympics train very hard to get that medal

  16. He's never going to be a great male swimmer, he'll never have that speed to get him in the same league of the top male swimmers no matter how much hormone he takes. It's just how our bodies work. He is the way he is thanks to the brainwashing of our media, and our liberal schools. I don't see how a girl can't embrace sports or be tough without feeling bad about it? The leftists put so much emphasis on appearance. Why hate the body we were born into? To me, that's a psychological problem, that needs to be addressed with pychotheapy, not one that resorts to surgery to change our body. It's because he's never going to like his body now that all the males athletes in the locker rooms are taller than him and have bigger penises.

  17. These athletes are already breaking the rules by taking medication but others are not allowed to take that being male hormone. Males that have a problem with their hormones are not allowed to take extra to get them up to the level of other man and compete this is against the rules but a woman can take as much testosterone that she wants to. Yes of course makes another unbalanced unfair rule situation just going the other way

  18. I was the exact opposite! I loved swimming until I started to develop. But this year I'm going to hop back in it with trunks and a binder

  19. What an interesting way of spelling of his name. In Dutch, one could translate it as 'hider' as in; someone who hides themselves away. But the archaic spelling can also be interpreted as "Shelter". A place of protection. Schuyler found shelter by being himself. How wonderful!

  20. No one cares if women compete in the mens division. Cis women can compete with the men if they are capable of doing it.

  21. I love his parents. This is what parenting is. Accepting, supporting and understanding while loving whoever your child is.

  22. I mean, he looks 100% like a dude and people still can't deal with the fact that he is a man. Get over it.

  23. How hot would she be if she kept at the tomboy stuff & athletics while accepting her biological make up, instead of hating herself (her femininity) like her enablers encouraged her to?!✌🏾

  24. Of course she is at Harvard. Biology has no feelings. Science has not feelings. This poor person is so sick and needs help and you dystopian cultural Marxists are cheering her mental health issues on. Soon you idiots will have celebrate addiction day where you talk about how brave it is to smoke crack and just be yourself. Or a parade for psychosis where you promote the courage of delusions, delirium, psychosis and schizophrenia.

  25. THE WORLD HAS REALLY GONE CRAZY. SEEMS LIKE PEOPLE ARE BORN THE WRONG GENDER VERY MINUTE. WHERE ARE WE HEADING? TO WORLD FULL OF ROBOTS AND TRANSGENDERS? IS THAT THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY? AS SOON AS THIS TRANSGENDERISM CAME OUT IN THE OPEN SO ANY PEOPLE SUDDENLY FEEL THEY WERE IN THE WRONG BODY. THE ROMAN EMPIRE WAS DESTROYED FROM WITHIN. THE MIGHT OF THE US WILL GO THE SAME WAY.

  26. SO WHAT HE IS ATTRACTED TO ? MEN OR WOMEN? HE IS NOTHIGN SPECIAL AND HAS NOTHING TO TEACH THE WORLD. IT'S ALL SCHMALTZY AND SURREEL. HE IS NOTHING SPECIAL. JUST A DISTURBED KID WHO TOOK DRASTIC MEASURES TO BECOME WHAT HE THOUGHT WOULD GIVE HIM MORE HAPPINESS. THE FUTURE WILL TELL.

  27. Dear LTGB community,
    I identify as a 70 year old woman but no one will give me social security benefits and they are fighting my early retirement, please help!!

  28. I'm ftm and i used to swim. but i quit after coming out because i didnt know how to go about it without dysphoria because im pre t and pre top surgery and im unable to medically transition right now because im a minor with unsupportive parents. tho i really miss swimming competively so now im trying to figure out how to go about it without extreme dysphoria

  29. I have a trans friend (FTM). But the first time I ever met her, I honestly didn't even know she was trans. She was stunningly gorgeous in a feminine way without any surgeries or anything. She was wearing a long wig, me, being dumb, asked her how long it took her to grow her hair out and she laughed hard and told me that "Its a wig Hun. I'm trans." I was OPENLY shocked. I think sometimes, when a person knows for so long that their a specific gender, maybe it affects the way their body manifests itself. Even before treatment. Many Blessings to All LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈 people out there. Everyone deserves respect as long as their being respected. ❤️

  30. As long as he isn't one of those people who get overly aggressive for someone saying he's a woman, I honestly think no one should care. It's his life, let him do what he wants

  31. As someone whos watched someone l love very much deal for many many years with not being able to "come out " to family, friends, employees & coworkers etc as her authentic self, lm extremely proud of this young man for being brave when it wasn't easy and strong not only for himself but members of the trans community at large !!!
    🦋🦋🦋
    The person l mentioned was born a male & will be 69 this month. She's known she identified as female since she was very small… she just didn't know there was a name for her feelings. She spent years being a husband, father, police officer and trucker because those were the roles expected of a genetic male. Even now as an engineer of 33 years, she cannot come out at work for fear of being fired. Though firing somehome for being trans is illegal, in a right to work state, her boss wouldn't need a reason.

    All of that being said, Mr. Bailar is helping to set the new acceptable standards of honoring not only family and school but most importantly himself. Stories like his, are paving the road to trans issue awareness, rights and freedoms with bricks of authenticity !!!! Just keep swimming ! ~ Dori

  32. Some girls have to become boys in order to survive and not be molested, married as a slave wife. But in America they change sexes just because of how they feel. Priveledge is a crazy thing.

  33. This is all great. Be you. Be great. Please, don't push to jail or fine me if I mistake you or someone else like you for a different pronoun. It doesn't have to be that way..It's very scary and confusing between people like you who are true at heart and those who are not true at heart…

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