Celebrate the release of Schuyler Bailar’s riveting new book, He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why It Matters. Bailar, a seasoned educator, author, and advocate, is also widely recognized as the first transgender athlete to compete in an NCAA Division 1 men’s team.
Picture it – one morning on the way to therapy at a residential eating disorder treatment facility, a tie-dye pattern across the lap and legs of a distressed Schuyler Bailar was dishearteningly a reminder of negative feelings towards the body. In an effort to channel therapeutic coping mechanisms, negative and discouraging thoughts were challenged with expressions of gratitude.
In a moment of reflection, Bailar grappled with an intriguing question that has weighed on the mind. The burning question, “What if I don’t like how I look because I don’t look like a man?” marks a pivotal moment of realization.
Bailar would later find out that being transgender is not solely confined to the physical form. In contrast, the transgender experience is on a multi-dimensional plane. Given these circumstances, it is vital to know that coming out as transgender is not about assuming a new identity. So for Bailar, coming out as transgender was not mere discovery, but the authentication of a truth.
The perception of what it means to be transgender may vary for different individuals, but it doesn’t negate the experience. The journey to self-acceptance is wrought with questions and uncertainty. These questions can be further triggered by what seems like endless explanations, causing trans individuals to constantly validate their own identities, and it warrants deeper reflection.
This is an excerpt from Schuyler Bailar’s new book, He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why It Matters, on sale now. Being selected as the top LGBTQ Nation’s Instagram Advocate of the Year and other various honors deeply demonstrate the significant impact Bailar has made as an advocate and author.