History-Making Transgender Athlete Talks to Kids About His Journey

NBC Universal, Inc.

Accomplished swimmer Schuyler Bailar made history by becoming the first openly transgender man to compete on a NCAA Division I team. 

After graduating from Harvard University in the spring, Bailar is dedicating himself to speaking about gender inclusion in sports and his own journey. He spoke at the McLean School in Potomac, Maryland, on Thursday. 

Bailar said he struggled with his own gender transition. “Just doing the next thing” helped him. 

“It was literally just getting out of bed that morning, just showing up at practice, just taking that next stroke if I couldn’t take the next 50,” he said. 

Bailar began swimming competitively as a child and was a standout swimmer at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. That led to an offer to attend Harvard and compete on the women’s swim team. He transitioned in college and the school offered to let him compete on the men’s team. He accepted. 

He went on to excel on the team and win the prestigious Harvard Director’s Award. 

Bailar recommending having conversations, including with kids, about “how gender is a spectrum.” 

A student at the McLean School on Thursday put their own recommendation this way: “You should just kinda take people for who they are.” 

Contact Us