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Trans Athlete Risks It All To Live Authentically

Bailar half out of the pool.
Sydney Clair Photography
Schuyler Bailar is the first transgender athlete to compete on an NCAA Division I men's team.

Schuyler Bailar was swimming solo before his first birthday. He learned a love for swimming at Mommy and Me classes, competed in his first swim meet at age 7 and qualified for national competitions before he got to high school.

 His career could have been derailed in 2012 when he broke his back in a bicycle accident, but he returned quickly to the water and competed at the NCSA Jr. National Championships the very next year. He caught the eye of many Ivy League swim programs, yet despite his outward success, he was struggling privately with body image issues and an eating disorder. He got recruited by Harvard to swim on the women's team but postponed his enrollment, took a gap year and transitioned from female to male. Harvard's swim team embraced his new identity, and Bailar became the first transgender athlete to compete on an NCAA Division I men's team.
Bailar graduated from Harvard in May and embarked on a national speaking tour. Host Frank Stasio talks to Bailar about his personal story his reflections on state and national policies for trans athletes, and what it has been like to be so public with his story. Bailar will speak at UNC-Greensboro on Monday, Sept. 16at 7p.m.

Schuyler Bailar Tedx Talk

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Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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