Meet Amelia Gapin, the first trans woman to front 'Women's Running' magazine
When transgender runner Amelia Gapin was first named a finalist for Women’s Running magazine's cover search contest last fall, she was nervous.
The software engineer and co-founder of MyTransHealth, an online startup connecting users with trans-friendly physicians and mental healthcare professionals, told New Now Next that she had no "desire to play into the voyeurism of trans lives by (cisgender) people."
But then Gapin thought about what that visibility might mean for another trans person. And when she found out she had been selected to cover the fitness magazine’s July issue — the first trans woman to do so — the 33-year-old went for it.
"I wanted to be able to show other trans people what’s possible and that they can be their true selves," Gapin said of her decision to front the issue, which hits newsstands Tuesday.
"You know, I grew up through the 90s and there was never any positive representation," Gapin continued. "I just remember growing up thinking, 'I guess there’s nobody else like me. I’m the only person who feels the way that I do.' It was really, really alienating because I didn't know you could actually transition and live those things you felt and be the person you knew you were."
Running showed Gapin that.
"I had spent years trying to convince myself to believe lies — that I wasn’t transgender — and there was a lot I had to work through, and running was the place where I did it," Gapin, who started transitioning four years ago, said. "It gave me some place to work out aggression and anger that I had when I found out that some friends weren't the people I thought they were... honestly, I don’t know that I'd still be here if I didn’t have running."
Women's Running editor-in-chief Jessica Sebor said the selection of Gapin was a natural choice.
"What we really wanted to underline is every body, every person, every woman is welcome into the Women’s Running community and we just thought Amelia’s openness and embracing of her own identity was something that underlined that mission," she said.
Sebor also echoed Gapin's hopes that the cover helps someone who may be struggling. "There are a lot of really unfortunate difficulties and challenges facing the trans community right now," she said. "What we hope is that they see there are many of us who stand in support and we want to show that support, and hopefully that provides a bit of comfort."
Read the whole article here: "Amelia Gapin Is Our Transgender Cover Runner"
More about Amelia: She has been on hormones for three years, and says she had been back and forth about surgery for awhile. She hesitated for many reasons, not the least of which was the apprehension and fear she had of the long and intense post-operation recovery period. She finally decided to undergo the procedure, because “my big goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I can’t qualify for it as a woman without having surgery.”