Today’s interview is with Amelia Gapin, a transgender runner who was a cover model in 2016 on Women’s Running Magazine. She is relentlessly herself and helps us learn more about what her life day to day is like. She is a true role model for others and helping us to see an issue that often does not get attention. Amelia and I tackle some of the controversy around transgender runners and their issues.
Amelia Gapin is a marathon runner, software engineer and was a 2016 Women’s Running cover model. She is a self professed Bagel Snob and a “Cat Lady” who loves Disneyworld. Amelia is a transgender athlete, and was a co-founder of MyTransHealth, which serves as a guided search tool for transgender people struggling to find the right healthcare options for their needs.
What you will learn about:
- How she co-founded MyTransHealth to help those who needed assistance navigating the healthcare options they needed.
- The meaning of Cisgender (you identify with the gender you were at birth) and Transgender (where you identify with the opposite gender of that assigned at birth)
- How it was quite surreal to see herself on the cover of Women’s Health, and how she overcame her reluctance to say yes and brave the risk of negative comments or violence that might occur from being so open.And whether the transgender community really needed another cover model or the publicity. In the end she learned how helpful it was in assisting others in seeing that it was possible for them to also be runners and didn’t need to be alone.
- How being a transgender person is not all unicorns and rainbows and all the issues that they face from where they would be housed in a prison, bathroom bills, service in the military, etc. How even the sound of your voice can cause issues day to day.
- How, like most of us, she hated running in the beginning but soon came to love being able to get out and have time to think and be alone with her thoughts and be able to work things out in her head.
- How taking hormones impacted her running.Transgender runners in general have lower testosterone levels than cisgender women as the hormone blockers reduce their overall levels to a point lower than normally occurring in females.The blockers also an cause dehydration, making it difficult to run longer distances. Once a transgender runner has transition surgery, they no longer take blockers and move closer to what is normal for women in general.
- How she had to get used to being cat-called while running. When the world sees you as a man, you don’t realize exactly what it is like to run as a woman.
- The media attention surrounding the Boston Marathon and transgender runners.How the rules for racing are moving in the right direction but still have a way to go. Many of the rules surround how and whether you can update your personal identification, which varies by state.
- How she loves Disneyworld and her favorite ride is the Jungle Cruise because she loves bad puns and jokes.
- How Google is your friend and can help you find resources to help you understand transgender individuals and the issues they face. If you have questions, certainly ask but gently and with respect.
Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:
My first 5k I wanted to die, how do people do this?
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Thank you to BodyHealth for sponsoring this episode of Running for Real.
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Thank you to Amelia, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.