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50th Anniversary of Title IX Speaker Event

Schuyler Bailar: Trans Athlete, Educator, and Activist

Photo of Schuyler Bailar wearing a "Trans* is Beautiful" tank top.

Event Details

Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 7pm, Lang Performing Arts Center [please indicate your interest in attending by completing this short form]

About Keynote Speaker

Schuyler Bailar is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top-20 15-year-old breast-strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. In college, he swam for Harvard University, on the winningest Harvard team in 50 years. Schuyler’s difficult choice – to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion – was historic and timely. His story has appeared everywhere from 60 Minutes to The Ellen Show. Schuyler’s tireless advocacy of inclusion through public speaking and social media (@pinkmantaray) has earned him numerous notable honors.

Throughout his journey, particularly in high school, Schuyler struggled with issues of body image and self-esteem, often battling with disordered eating and self-harm. Before college, he decided to take a gap year to deal with these issues. In therapy, it became clear that Schuyler’s real struggle was with gender identity and that he was transgender. This presented Schuyler with the most difficult decision ever: whether to continue as a possible NCAA champion – on the Harvard women’s team – or to transition and be authentic to himself, accepting the consequences and the challenges it would entail.

Schuyler’s choice – to be true to himself – has been historic. His story hit Facebook’s toptrending news and has been recounted globally in thousands of media outlets from The Washington Post to 60 Minutes with millions of online and broadcast media views. MTV cited his story in their list of “2015’s Best Moments for the Trans Community” and Buzzfeed named him one of the “11 Transgender people who are shifting our views.”  

During his journey, Schuyler was unable to find examples of trans athletes and vowed to be public about his transition to give youth at least one public example. His advocacy has evolved into full-time work as a DEI consultant, Life Coach, Advocate and Author.

Schuyler’s work spans schools, corporations, and non-profits with hundreds of appearances of all kinds. Accolades include LGBTQ Nation’s Instagram Advocate of the Year, a GLAAD MEDIA Award nomination, the OUT100 and the prestigious Harvard Athletics Director’s Award, which is not granted annually – but only when an athlete demonstrates outstanding contribution to Athletics through education. He is only the 7th recipient of the award. Schuyler’s first novel Obie Is Man Enough is now available from Penguin Random House and his first short story appears in Fresh Ink, an acclaimed collection of works by leading young adult writers (by WNDB through Random House).  

Schuyler chronicles his journey on Instagram @pinkmantaray, for others to explore. 

Commemoration of 50th Anniversary of Title IX

The 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX is a watershed moment to acknowledge all that has been gained and all that still needs to be achieved since the existence of this landmark civil rights law.  Title IX has had a prominent role in female participation in athletics, college responses to reports of sexual violence, ensuring the retention of pregnant and parenting students, the inclusion of trans community members, among others.

Our intention in holding this event is to create space to both acknowledge progress and identify gaps.  Schuyler is able to speak personally about both positive changes that he has seen during his own journey, while also highlighting all of the myriad ways that the trans community continues to be under attack.