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Gay baseball player Bryan Ruby describes “hyper-masculine” locker room experience after coming out
interview with USA Today in September, and though he’d played in some games afterwards to close out the season, “a lot has changed over the past 10 months.”In a first-person post on Outsports, Ruby said, “A quick scroll through my social media shows a whole lot of rainbow, and as they say: once you’re ‘out’, there’s no going back ‘in’ (the closet).”He’d also since co-founded Proud To Be In Baseball, an advocacy and support group working to promote LGBTQ inclusion in the sport, and gone on a national tour to support the cause.  A post shared by Bryan Ruby (@bryanrubyofficial)Related: Baseball player Solomon Bates comes out as gayFor these reasons, Ruby was “pretty nervous” to rejoin the team — especially in the locker room.“Walking back into the hyper-masculine world of the locker room last month, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about being treated differently by my teammates this season,” he said. “My guard was up as I stood at my locker, changing with the rest of the guys before my first practice back with the squad.”As he tried to maintain a low profile, a starting pitcher turned and asked a surprisingly normal question: “So Ruby, how’s your boyfriend doing?”He answered the question, and the fellow player started talking about his own girlfriend.Related: Maybelle Blair, baseball player who inspired ‘A League of Their Own,’ comes out at 95“That was something I never, ever thought could be possible to talk about so nonchalantly in the locker room,” Ruby said.
Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Lia Thomas has been nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award by her alma mater. In March, Thomas became the first transgender woman to win a Division 1 title, where she won in the Women’s 500-yard freestyle event.As the first trans NCAA champion in Division I history, Thomas quickly became the face of the ongoing backlash against transgender athletes’ participation in sports — specifically the participation of trans women. Beyond elite competition, the controversy continues to intensify throughout the country — over the past year, 10 states have passed anti-trans legislation banning trans student-athletes from competing in categories that align with their gender identities.“I knew there would be scrutiny against me if I competed as a woman,” Thomas told JuJu Chang on Good Morning America in May. “But I also don’t need anybody’s permission to be myself and to do the sport that I love.”Thomas began her medical transition in 2019, following the NCAA requirements of completing at least one year of hormone therapy prior to competing in women’s sports categories.In her conversation with Chang, the Ivy League swimmer set the record straight on her reason for transitioning, debunking the ludicrous claim that she did so in order to have an “advantage” while competing.Thomas recalled that her swimming career was actually what kept her from transitioning in the first place.“Trans people don’t transition for athletics,” she emphasized.
British Triathlon Creates New “Open” Category for Trans Athletes
The British Triathlon has released updated rules that create a new “open” category for transgender athletes as part of a push to ban trans women from competing against cisgender women.The federation’s new policy requires that “all individuals including male, transgender and those non-binary who were male sex at birth” be placed into an “open” category, separate from people assigned female at birth.With the creation of the “open” category, only those athletes who were assigned female at birth will be allowed to participate in international events designated for females.The policy does not mention in which category a trans man assigned female at birth is expected to compete, although presumably they would be relegated to the “open” category if they are taking testosterone to transition — which might be considered an unfair advantage. The new policy goes into on Jan. 1, 2023, and applies to all races held in the United Kingdom.  In a statement, the British Triathlon explained that this policy is an attempt at making the sport more inclusive — allowing transgender females and nonbinary athletes assigned male at birth to compete, while ensuring that they do not unfairly benefit from physical advantages they hold over cisgender female competitors.“British Triathlon has reviewed its Transgender Policy following a period of consultation to ensure that it reflects the needs of our sport, protects fairness in competition, and serves our desire to make triathlon truly inclusive,” the federation said.The British Triathlon’s governing body said it they consulted with over 3,000 participants, forming focus groups and conducting interviews before deciding to establish the policy.
Justine Lindsay makes history as the first openly trans cheerleader in the NFL
Justine Lindsay is making history! Ahead of the 2022 football season, the 29-year-old cheerleader is officially the new member of the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats, becoming the first openly trans NFL cheerleader.Lindsay shared her excitement on social media, making the announcement and sharing her appreciation for her friends and the alumni TopCats family.“Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female,” she stated.“I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who supported me along the way alumni TopCats family and friends for your love and support,” Lindsay continued, “I would not have gotten to this moment in my life if it wasn’t for the support.”The cheerleader revealed to BuzzFeed that she was “so scared” to make the announcement, as “there’s just some things you can’t post,” declaring that she’s happy to “break down that door” for future trans athletes.The director of the TopCats Chandalae Lanouette, explained that Lindsay had shared that she is trans on her application, highlighting her talent. “My goal is to create a team of individuals that are absolute fire on the field but are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day, you have to walk through the door first to get to that spot,” Lanouette shared.Lindsay confessed that she was afraid she would have to change her look, revealing that her coach encouraged her to keep it and “inspire other young girls who may be insecure rocking their bald look.”“I think more people need to see this.