What does it mean to play like girl?
From birth we are assigned our identities. Our hobbies, interests, outward appearance, age, gender- are all things others use to identify us. But are we who we really are or who others depict us to be? By being the first transgendered male to compete on a U.S. national team with the gender he identifies with, Chris Mosier made it clear that "Athlete" was the only thing he would let society label him as.
Identity- in itself is a human construct- you are not born with an identity however one is made for you after birth.
"You play like a girl!'
"Only girls cry"
"Don't be a little girl"
"Real men buy dinner"
"You're not a real man untill you have sex"
What are the meanings behind these assumptions? Who decided one day that baby girls had pink nurseries, baby boys had blue? Who decided that girls were supposed to look pretty and clean the house and boys were supposed to carry a briefcase to work and support the family?
Mosier, an avid runner and cyclist, began competing in triathlons in 2009 as a male trapped in a female's body after buying a "how-to" book and teaching himself how to swim. Just a year later Mosier completed his first triathlon as a male. Starting at a young age, Mosier struggled with his gender identity when he realized his biological sex and gender identity were not equivalent. Mosier recalls envisioning his adult self not in a wedding dress or a bikini, however, with a flat chest and washboard abdominal muscles. This disconnect between biological sex and gender identity is the definition of Gender Dysphoria or
"Strong persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex".
After succeeding and overcoming many of the obstacles placed before him, Mosier is not ready to throw in the towel with his recent victory. Although he may have won his inner battle with his identity, he still has not won the battle which many transgender athletes are fighting today which is his/her capability and desire to compete in his/her identified sex.
"Mosier... is trying to be a trailblazer in the way Jackie Robinson was a trailblazer: busting through rules that still seek to exclude people like him, winning the right to compete at his sport's highest level".
Competing in the 2010 Nautica New York City Triathlon after identifying as a male- in the men's category- was the validation Mosier needed to take his identity into his own hands. Being biologically female at birth, and being so superior in his sport that he made the U.S. National Olympic Team, Mosier is not only tearing down transgender stereotypes but taking traditional gender roles down with them. While once a struggle for Mosier, his gender dysphoria provided him with the mental and physical stamina needed to cross the finish line again and again- before his male counterparts.
By breaking gender roles and being a trailblazer for transgendered athletes on a global scale, Chris Mosier will definitley show what it really means to "play like a girl" in Rio De Janero 2016.