Chris Mosier Visits Taft: Be Who You Needed

Taft is an intentionally diverse community built on a commitment to respecting each person’s identity and ensuring that each community member feels a sense of welcome and belonging. To that end, Taft has adapted the international calendar of celebrations to honor the richness of the cultures and identities traditionally celebrated when school is not in session. As a community, then, April is LGBTQIA+ Month; the world will honor Pride month in June.

All of our recognition months include opportunities for learning, collaboration, connection, and celebration. This month, Morning Meeting speaker Chris Mosier, a professional athlete and transgender advocate, shared his inspiring story with the Taft community. 

Meet Chris Mosier

Chris Mosier is guided by a simple but powerful motto: Be who you needed when you were younger. 

Mosier was assigned female at birth.

“I never really felt like a girl. And I didn’t know what a girl was supposed to feel like, but I got these messages from my family, my teachers, from my peers that how I was showing up in the world wasn’t what a little girl was. But I was just being true to myself,” Mosier told the Taft community during his Morning Meeting talk. “I couldn’t see a future for myself, because I didn’t see people like me when I was younger. I didn’t even know who I was looking for, I just knew that the people I was seeing didn’t align with who I knew myself to be.”

Mosier found success—and solace—in sports, playing on girls’ teams through high school. But once he reached college, Mosier no longer felt comfortable being a part of women’s teams. He eventually started running. And he hasn’t stopped.

“Sports was the place I found my sense of self, my family, my friends, my community. Sports was as much lifesaving for me as it was fun,” Mosier explained. “Running allowed me to experience fitness and community in a way that felt comfortable to me.”

Looking for a challenge beyond long-distance running, Mosier bought a bike and taught himself to swim. He won the first triathlon he entered—as a woman.

“I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I won because it was in the woman’s category. And that didn’t fit how I saw myself. Not being able to tell anyone, not being able to celebrate the win, and not being able to celebrate myself caused me to say, ‘I think I have to do something about this. I have to think more about who I am, and how I’m showing up in the world.’”

Mosier began training for Team USA, and to embrace his gender identity. 

“I made Team USA as the first transgender athlete competing as the gender with which they identify,” Mosier said. “But I couldn’t go to World Championships because of IOC policy.”

Mosier hired lawyers to help him appeal the International Olympic Committee’s policy on transgender athletes. And he won; the IOC changed policy on transgender athletes due to Mosier’s challenge, and he competed on the world stage. 

“The ruling opened up opportunity for me and every athlete after me. And that’s what I really wanted.”

Mosier shared his thoughts—and the facts—about existing and pending legislation across the United States that directly impacts the rights and opportunities of transgender people. And while much of the current legislation is centered on healthcare, Mosier notes that where we are today is largely rooted in sports legislation. 

“What I learned from playing sports was teamwork; it was dedication and commitment; goalsetting; communication. How to receive criticism and feedback. How to lose and bounce back. And how to win and have grace. Targeting trans kids in sports takes this opportunity away from them,” Mosier explained. “I think we all have this deep desire to feel like we belong. And I think we also have this deep desire to express ourselves in the world in a way that feels comfortable. All of you have the opportunity to help other people feel like they belong. You can actually make a change.”

Mosier says he continues to participate in sports because it provides a platform for talking about inclusion in sports. And it allows him to live his motto, by being the person he needed when he was younger.


Chris Mosier is a trailblazing transgender athlete and thought leader on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports. He is the first transgender athlete to represent the United States in international competition, the first transgender athlete to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the gender they identify, a 6-time member of Team USA, the first transgender athlete in the ESPN Body Issue, and the first transgender athlete sponsored by Nike. Mosier is also a Hall of Fame triathlete, All-American Duathlete, National Champion race walker, transgender advocate, and highly regarded speaker, policy maker, and brand consultant.