Meet Up Planning

(Updated 7/17/2019)

I want to meet and hangout with as many of you as I can. Most of my tour’s events are public as you can see on the main tour page. However, for the cities without a public event, I’m going to be hosting meet ups when I can!

And, I need your help in planning these meet ups! 

Find your city and click the link to vote for the best meet-up location. Feel free to add a suggestion if you know of a better place or think I’d like something else. Any additional comments (please don’t flood the little suggestion bar with paragraphs) can go to my email: Schuyler@pinkmantaray.com.

Please note the times are very open ended right now. Once I nail down a location for each meet-up and finalize some more tour details, I’ll be posting exact times & locations for y’all!

9/10

Manhattan, KS

Midday

Vote/Suggest

9/11

Kansas City, MO

2-4pm

Vote/Suggest

9/21

Chicago, IL

TBD

Vote/Suggest

9/22

Cleveland, OH

6-8pm

Vote/Suggest

9/28

DC area

Midday

Vote/Suggest

10/10

NYC area

Midday until 4pm

Vote/Suggest

 

If you don’t see your city here, do not fret! Check out my main tour page for 15 other public events I’ll be doing.

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Hill City 20% Off

Hill City sent me a Pride gift last month of a box of their clothes and I LOVED them so I got y’all a discount code valid through July 20, 2019!

The code is my name: SCHUYLER.

All of the clothes are made of great & mostly recycled material. It’s always been a bit of a struggle for me to find shorts that fit right because my butt is big, my thighs are thicc(ker than average guys my height) and I’m short so most shorts are too long. But these are perfect because they’re stretchy and a good length for me! These are mostly 8” shorts but they’ve got both 5” and 10” for any of y’all with different leg lengths! Check out my Instagram post for more.

So, for a whopping 20% OFF, use my code, “SCHUYLER” until July 20!

THANK YOU @HillCityOfficial❤️

Also, for reference, all of these clothes are a size M. The pants are 32-32, and were a little big for me lengthwise – I’m usually a 32-30.

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Thank you Harvard Varsity Club and Bob Scalise!

At the annual Harvard Letterwinners Dinner, I was awarded the Director’s Award. The award is not given annually and I was the seventh person to receive is and the first swimmer. So humble to be recognized and so proud of the team – which won the most awards of all Harvard teams this year. 

From the Harvard Varsity Club site: “The Director’s Award recognizes the person (or persons) who, through his/her pursuit of excellence and service to Harvard Athletics, has displayed exceptional leadership, personal character, integrity and commitment to education through athletics.”

Daniel Tran won the John P Reardon ’60 Men’s Award

Daniel Tran – Thank you speech

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Concord Academy News: Schuyler brings inspirational story to Concord Academy

Staff Writer, Concord Academy

May 21, 2019. Concord MA

 

 

Why do we give attention to people who are coming out as trans or LGBTQ? How does doing so either normalize or sensationalize their existence? These are some of the candid, hard-to-frame questions that Concord Academy students had the opportunity to ask on May 16 of visiting speaker Schuyler Bailar, the first openly transgender athlete to compete on a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 men’s team.

Because people are still marginalized based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, Bailar said, “representation is crucial — it’s actually life-saving.” As a child, he said, he never saw other queer or trans athletes. “That made me conclude that I literally could not exist in a public space if I were to out myself,” he said. It’s what spurred him to make himself a public figure, to speak honestly and openly about his experience. Now he receives messages daily from young people who tell him they are alive today because they saw his story.

Bailar shared that story with CA. Assigned female at birth, he spent much of his childhood presenting in the way he felt most comfortable — as a boy. Despite his straight-A performance in school and exceptional promise as a young swimmer (in the top 20 in the nation as a 15-year-old competing on a women’s team), despite having already been recruited for Harvard, he was bullied and miserable. Taking a gap year before college to address an eating disorder and his gender identity, Bailar faced a difficult decision — to continue with his plan to swim for the Harvard women’s team or fully embrace his identity and potentially lose the ability to compete in the sport that was his lifeline.

The enthusiastic encouragement of the Harvard men’s coaches and Bailar’s teammates provided another way forward. In his first race in college, his first against other guys, he said he realized that “for the first time in my life, I was swimming as just me, as just myself.”

This February, while Bailar was up on the starting blocks, about to swim the final race of his career, the entire Harvard men’s team was chanting his name. “I don’t think there was anything that could have ended my season, my career, better,” he said, “and there’s not any better proof, in my opinion, that a trans athlete can be included on a team at that level.”

Bailar shares his story “to prove that possibility — that you can be exactly who you are in any facet of what that means to you that differs from the norm or what society expects,” he said. “Your identity as something that is different does not ever have to hold you back from your own success, from your own passion, from what you love to do.”

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Schuyler Bailar races toward his authentic self

Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Published by the Harvard Gazette

Liz Mineo. Harvard Staff Writer

May 16, 2019. Cambridge MA

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.

Schuyler Bailar ’19 is excited about being excited about the future. More than four years ago, during a gap year in which he came out as transgender, he was uncertain whether there was a future for him.

A star swimmer in high school, Bailar was recruited by Harvard to swim on the women’s team, but he postponed his enrollment to deal with an eating disorder that he later found out was masking a gender identity issue.

During his gap year, driven by his desire to be “true to himself,” Bailar underwent a double mastectomy and transitioned into a man. He knew he didn’t want to quit swimming, but he was unsure about the University’s response.

When Harvard’s women’s swimming and diving coach Stephanie Morawski and men’s swimming coach Kevin Tyrrell learned about Bailar’s transitioning, they both embraced him wholeheartedly. It was a gesture that not only allowed Bailar to carry on his passion for swimming, but one that changed his life, he said.

“They gave me a choice between swimming in the women’s and the men’s team,” said Bailar, who is concentrating in psychology. “The University was supportive of my decision, but if I have to break it down, the coaches were absolutely key. They were behaving like parents who love their kids first, and that was incredibly important.”

And so Bailar became the first openly transgender swimmer in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division I, the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. His story made national news, gained him an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, another on “60 Minutes,” and made him a sought-after speaker on transgender issues.

It is a journey that has been difficult, said Bailar, recalling his struggles before coming to Harvard: being bullied in elementary school for not looking quite “girlie,” developing an eating disorder, depression, and self-harm tendencies in high school, and feeling overwhelmed with self-doubt over his swimming career during his gap year. Since he learned how to swim at the same time he was learning how to walk, the only place where he felt safe was the pool, he said.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

The Virginia native said he has gained strength from the love and understanding he found along the way, not only from Harvard’s coaches, but also from his teammates who welcomed him with open arms, and from his Korean grandparents, who told him they knew it all along and accepted him without reservations.

The first ones who showered Bailar with love and acceptance were his parents, whom Bailar considers his best friends. “They always led with love,” he said. “They haven’t always understood everything but have always said, ‘We love you and we’re going to figure it out together.’ That’s the most important thing a parent can do, love their kids first.”

For Tyrrell, his decision to welcome Bailar onto the team was easy. “Schuyler loved swimming,” he said. “He was very excited to join the team and wanted to get faster, and sometimes he failed, and sometimes he succeeded. He’s mentally tough and reflective. But the most important thing is that he made the team a better team.”

Of his teammates, Bailar said they were great role models. His presence was a win-win for everybody, with Bailar receiving his teammates’ support and the team becoming educated about gender diversity and diversity in general, he said. “I’m so blessed to have the teammates I have. We all kind of figured things out together and bonded a lot during that process but also challenged each other.”

As a public speaker on transgender issues, Bailar strives to illuminate some of the misconceptions surrounding transgender people by finding a common humanity that allows audiences to see trans people as human beings. But that work comes with caveats: He receives hate messages and some people question both his identity as transgender and his place in the sport he loves.

“A lot of my talks are about me proving my validity and my existence,” he said. “Sometimes, people disagree with my identity as a trans person, and while that can get exhausting, that constant questioning centers me and helps strengthen my conviction that this is who I am.”

After graduation, Bailar plans to work for a finance company in Seattle teaching emotional intelligence skills to employees. He looks forward to the next chapter of his life with excitement and relishes the fact that most of the uncertainty surrounding his past is over.

“Before coming to Harvard, I was terrified about the future because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in the future and because nothing excited me,” recalled Bailar on a bench near the Barker Center Café, his voice strong, his demeanor poised. “I’m so thrilled about how everything turned out.”

 

 

 

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Thanks to the NGLCC/NBIC for the 2019 Visibility Award!

So honored to have been included in the 2019 Best-of-the-Best Awards by NGLCC / NBIC. And what a group of fellow winners: Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Deborah Cox.  Thank you. Thank you.

When you make purchasing decisions, look for companies that are certificied LGBTQ-owned by the NGLCC!!

If you are an LGBTQ-owned business – register with the NGLCC!

Uniting the nation’s leading business diversity organizations, the Best-of-the-Best Awards Gala recognizes outstanding achievement in promoting cross-segment diversity and inclusion. Only companies achieving industry-leading results across all diverse segments are eligible to receive the prestigious Best-of-the-Best designation from the National Business Inclusion Consortium, a coalition of national diverse business organizations spearheaded by NGLCC and including United States Black Chambers, Inc., Disability:IN, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, WEConnect International, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

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On Teammates & Being on A College Men’s Team

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On Swimming & Sport

Swimming as a transguy, generally; do I have to give up swimming if I’m transgender? What do I wear if I haven’t had/don’t want top surgery?

In my opinion, you shouldn’t ever write off the possibility of swimming because you’re transgender. There are options. Also, in terms of rules and suits — you actually can get a uniform exemption and wear a one-piece “women’s” suit. If you’re in high school, the USA swimming rules are actually pretty accepting of gender-nonconforming and trans individuals. USA Swimming actually has an entire task force working on trans* inclusion. I can’t be sure about your specific high school, of course. Still, I wouldn’t ever lose hope. The NCAA and the IOC have pretty inclusive rules. Check out my blog post on testosterone for more about the NCAA’s rules.  See the following question for more about what to wear!

 

I just started high school in September and I swim on the girls’ swim team. That’s been really uncomfortable and I want to swim on the boys’ team. But the big question is: What do I wear? I looked on Underworks for a swim binder but it seems too baggy for competitive swimming. So I was thinking about using a nude half binder along with the longer speedo shorts. Do you think that would be okay to wear and also would it be easy enough to maneuver in? I hope I don’t have to wait for top surgery to swim…

The reality is there is no perfect answer. I wore a women’s swim suit for the entire time I had breasts. It was the easiest way for me. My logic was that my body had these parts and the suit fit those parts and that was that. But I also get that’s not always that easy. So here are my suggestions/the ideas I’ve come up with thus far:

  1. Wearing a boys’ jammers with a Jolyn bikini top.
    1. Downside: you have to wear a bikini top.
    2. Upside: this is the best option for your hydrodynamics and training.
  2. Wearing boys’ jammers with a women’s suit underneath or a bikini top and then a rash guard on top.
    1. Upside: no bikini/”women’s” suit shows.
    2. Downside: this will create a ton of drag, and it could be really bad for your shoulders and terrible for your form.
  3. Wear the women’s suit as I mentioned above and practice this perspective shift: Don’t think of the swim suit as women’s clothes. “Women’s clothes” are just clothes that other people have deemed “female,” but the reality is all of these gender boxes are completely arbitrary boxes that humans have shoved into categories because we like categories. The reality is wearing those clothes or suit doesn’t make you a woman, or even womanly. They are just clothes. It is just a swim suit. Hundreds of years ago in Korea, men wore dresses! Men used to wear full body swim suits for racing like women do now. That was considered appropriate attire! (You might remember they got banned not for gender reasons but for cost reasons.) So I guess what I’m trying to say is you should try shifting perspective so that you can recognize just for yourself that the clothes/swim suit does not define you – you define you. Even if other people might use the clothes to define you. YOU know that that isn’t true. You are you, all the same. This might not be a panacea, but if you feel trapped by what you feel you must wear or have to show, this perspective shift might be helpful! I know it was for me.

Please note:

  1. You should never wear a binder and exercise. It is really bad for your lungs – it doesn’t let them expand and you could actually fracture a rib and then potentially puncture a lung. It’s really not safe. I 100% advise against working out with a binder on.
  2. You could replace the bikini in any of the above options with a sports bra. The only reason I recommend the Jolyn top is because they are made for competitive swimming and have a hole in the center so the water flows through the suit and doesn’t get trapped, which would create a lot of drag.

 

I recently saw an article about two MTF transgender track athletes and how people think it is unfair. I was wondering what your take is, being a trans athlete yourself? Do people’s opinions on fairness differ because you’re FTM and, supposedly, it is more difficult for you to compete against cis men? I’m just curious about how you feel about something like this, because I think people typically don’t take as much notice to FTM athletes, because as you said in your Ellen interview “I’m not winning anything,” but you were pushing yourself to complete new goals and better times. Do you think people are only complaining because they’re winning?

This is a hot-topic, and the short answer is yes. Trans women most definitely receive more pushback as athletes than trans men do. I can’t claim to understand a trans women’s experience, but what I will say about it is this: in most leagues (for example, the NCAA, any FINA regulated or IOC regulated competition) follow rules that regulate gender by hormone levels. So a trans women cannot compete as a female athlete unless she can prove one documented year of hormone suppressants. This makes it so the trans woman has no biological advantage over other women.

People’s next argument in response is usually, “Well, what if the trans woman has already gone through male puberty! She’s going to be taller and bigger than other (cisgender) girls!” And my response is this: Well, yes, maybe she’ll be taller. But there are tall cisgender girls, too. There are all sorts of variation in bodies within cisgender people and in sports, and you know what, that’s actually why we have sports competitions! Because bodies are different – they are shaped and sized differently; they perform differently, based on biology. And this difference is the same: a difference based in biology.

 

As an athlete, how do you stay determined and motivated both during your season and off season? 

In terms of motivation for sport: I am motivated because I love my sport. I think that when things get hard, that’s what I remind myself of. I take extra time during warm up and warm down to really feel the water crashing over my head, slipping past my arms. I love that sensation. The quiet of the underwater. I stay under a second longer than I need to. I gulp in the quiet, the peace. I remind myself: this is why I am here. I talk to my teammates, I laugh with them, even when practice is really hard.

 

How do you balance the gym and the pool? When you go to the gym and then to the pool but your muscles hurt or ache (from the gym)?

I’m on the swim team at my school and I mostly just follow our planned training regimen. In season, my group on the team swims 8x a week and we do strength training (the gym) 3x a week. Out of the season, I try to lift 4-6 times a week (nearly every day) and swim as much as I feel like it. I have a tough shoulder injury that is exacerbated most by swimming so I try to give it a good rest when we’re out of the season.

 

For more questions, please EMAIL me at schuyler@pinkmantaray.com. Do not DM me lengthy questions on Instagram, please! I won’t get back to you there. I answer every email. 

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100 azns – Thanks Leah!!

181231_100AZNS-101.jpg      

Thanks for the honor and the amazing group of azns!!

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First published work: Fresh Ink

New Orleans 2018

Fresh Ink is available now!

I am honored to have been asked to contribute a short story for this Young Adult anthology.

So excited about being a part of the collection of stories from such an amazing group of artists.

Available NOW

Click on cover for info!

Thanks to everyone at We Need Diverse Books!!

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