Chris Mosier is making history… again!
Last year, the sports star became the first transgender individual to earn a spot on the US National Team of the gender he identifies with, rather than the one he was given at birth.
And now, the 35-year-old is the first out transgender athlete to be featured in ESPN The Magazine‘s Body Issue!
The duathlete — who competes in events that feature both running and biking legs — posed completely nude for the spread, bravely baring his body in these shots (above)!
In a sneak peek of the upcoming issue, the inspirational athlete told ESPN that he had wanted to be in this specific issue for over a year, explaining that he finally feels comfortable with his body:
“I think the reason I felt so inspired to do it is that I’m finally at a place where I feel very comfortable with my body. And as a trans person, being in a body that didn’t really fit me for 29 years, now I feel very comfortable in my own skin.”
Chris even admitted that before he transitioned, he viewed fitness as a way to be more connected to his body, and would put on muscle in certain places to feel more masculine.
He says that’s why being featured in this spread is such a moving moment for him:
“For 29 years of my life, I didn’t want to be in pictures because what was reflected back to me was not the way I felt or the way I saw myself. I struggled with that for a really long time — of not even wanting to be in photos at all. And so now, to be at a point where I not only want to be in photos but with no clothes in photos is tremendous.”
Mr. Mosier also opened up his reaction to the SKINtillating shots, adding:
“I think in seeing those photos, I had a couple of ‘Oh sh*t!’ moments where the person I saw in those photos is exactly the person I want to be. I think for many years I felt betrayed by my body, because the way I envisioned it when I was a child was not the way it ended up to be.”
The runner even explained that his transition helps motivate him during races:
“In my first Ironman race, I was thinking the entire time that this isn’t hard, that this is voluntary, that I’m choosing to do this, that I’m putting myself through this pain. But maybe six months after I started medical transition, taking testosterone and my first race as male, at that time I was thinking: ‘Living my life every day is hard, this is easy.’ So I think in those moments where I feel like I’m suffering in the race, I pull it back to the bigger perspective of being a trans person. And by comparison, I feel like this moment — racing, running, whatever — is quite easy.”
Plus, the biker remains optimistic that his role on Team USA will help open the minds of those individuals who aren’t very accepting of the transgender community:
“There are certainly parts of our country that are really struggling with understanding that they should treat all people with dignity and respect. That was one of the reasons I was very proud to qualify for my second national team in North Carolina, of all places — being a state that is not very trans-friendly. I sort of feel like I’m representing the good parts of the country, and it’s important for people to see me as a representative of Team USA, because I think it represents the direction that we should go in.”
And, Chris says it was very important for him to be out in his athletic career:
“I made a decision very early in my transition and in my athletic career as a trans person to be out, to be public about it. That’s a one-ton decision now because once it’s on the internet, it never goes away. All you have to do is say it once and you are forever a trans athlete. There’s no just being a regular guy for me.”
We are so proud of Chris and are absolutely inspired that he gets to share his story in the glossy’s Body Issue. The issue will be released online on July 6 and will hit newsstands on July 8.
[Image via ESPN The Magazine.]