20 Must-Know Transgender Athletes

These athletes some of the biggest game-changers in sports history.

There are quite a few athletes in the world that are transgender, and we respect them fully. In fact, we don’t believe they receive enough recognition for their hard work and determination because of the small-minded people of the world. This next article is going to praise those fantastic and talented athletes who are finally learning to be at peace with their true selves.

20. Caitlyn Jenner


One of the most notable transgender athletes in the world, her coming-out was quite a shock to a lot of people. Caitlyn went from having people respect her one minute for her incredible work as an athlete, to people completely ditching the idea of having talent just because she came out as transgender. While we’re happy she’s finally on the right track to her happiness, we want to note her incredible accomplishments as an athlete. When Caitlyn went by the name of “Bruce”, they absolutely dominated the Montreal Olympics in 1976. In fact, their face was one of the first to be seen on a Wheaties box; an accomplishment that thousands of athletes would try and work for their entire career. Bruce came out as Caitlyn in 2015, and has been living happily since.

 

 

 

19. Renee Richards


While Caitlyn Jenner was one of the first on a Wheaties box, Renee Richards is noted to be one of the first openly-transgender people in the world of sports. Formerly known as Richard Raskind, a tennis player, Renee took the incredible step of getting reassignment surgery in 1975, when people were definitely not open to the idea of being transgender. Kudos to you, Renee, especially since Renee’s case made movement in the world of transgender rights, since she was then allowed to compete as the woman she’s always wanted to be.

18. Fallon Fox


If you remember Burton Boyd, and wondered what happened to him, he decided to undergo a metamorphosis and come out on top as her true self – Fallon Fox. While there were people that were openly trans in the world of sports before her, she was the first known to be in the world of MMA. And to think, this happened not too long ago in 2006! While controversy naturally, and unfortunately followed, the talk of the town was if she was eligible for fighting under her new gender because of her former. Rhonda Rousey has actually stated that she refuses to fight against her.

 

17. Jaiyah Saelua


Next on our list is someone who’s paved the way for those in the world of FIFA. Jaiyah was actually the first person to compete in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier as a transgender, despite competing in the men’s qualifier. In her culture, she is what they call “Fa’afafine”. In Somoa, this means that they are a third gender, which is a male who identifies with both feminine traits, and masculine traits.

 

 

 

 

 

16. Keelin Godsey


A two-time national champion, Keelin Godsey actually holds the Division III record in the hammer throw category. Formerly known as Kelly Godsey, he declared his identity in 2005, but still competes as female in the female category. We’re not entirely sure why, though.

 

 

15. Janae Marie Kroc


Formerly known as Matt Kroczaleski, this incredibly bodybuilder made waves as she announced her transgender status, and noted that she was gender fluid. Of course, this didn’t sit well with some people and she’s been subject to backlash, especially in the “super masculine” world of bodybuilding. After she came out in August 2015, her place in competitions became an unknown her, as she didn’t know if she’d still be competing in men’s, or start in women’s.

14. Andreas Krieger


Hailing from East German athletics, Andreas Kreiger was known as “Heidi”, and was on steroids for quite some time during their career. Because of this, they decided to transition and changed their name to Andreas, which is a common male name in their respective country. While he doesn’t regret transitioning, he felt that he wanted to discover it without the help of drugs to influence him.

13. Balian Buschbaum


Formerly known as Yvonne, Balian was an incredible pole vaulter, and was ranked in the top 10 EVER. After he retired in 2007, he then announced that he’d be getting his transition surgery in 2008. Even though many people in Germany may not be open to this concept, he is still quite popular, and has even appeared on shows since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Erik Schinegger

Next on our list is someone who was a top competitor in 1966 for women’s skiing, but was eventually disqualified for the Olympics two years later because they found out he was formerly known as Erik, and not the Erika they were born as. Because they found out that he had male sex organs, especially in such trying times, he wrote a book called, “My Victory Over Myself: The Man Who Became a Female World Champion”.

 

 

 

 

 

11. Caster Semenya


In 2009, Caster Semenya won gold for the woman’s 800-meter. The South African native was questioned because of their masculine appearance, which is no one’s business, and then received word from the International Association of Athletics Federations that people were ordering for tests to be run to confirm their gender. It was noted that Caster was found to not have any ovaries or a uterus, but may be intersex or transgender. Because of these “inconclusive” findings, Caster is still allowed to compete as normal, and as female.

10. Kye Allums

Being one of the first in NCAA history to be openly transgender, Kye is making waves – and in the best way possible, opening up doors for those in the future who may be transgender and want to play. Kye was formerly on the women’s basketball team in 2010 for George Washington, but later began identifying as a male within his second year. Of course, he’s now an active advocate and mentor.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Mianne Bagger


Fomerly known as Michael, Mianne underwent the incredible transition to female in 1995. A brave move for the time period. When she re-emerged as her new self, she played in the 2004 Australian Open (for women), and became the first openly transgender woman to do so. As we mentioned earlier, Caitlyn Jenner is currently the most prolific openly transgender athlete, but before Bruce became Caitlyn, Mianne Bagger was the most notable for quite some time.

 

 

 

8. Bobbi Lancaster


Amateur golfer Bobbi Lancaster came out as transgender in 2010, the same year they transitioned. Also a doctor, Bobbi (formerly Robert), became the first in the LPGA Symetra Tour to be a transgender golfer.

 

 

 

 

7. Lana Lawless


Lana Lawless may have come out much earlier than 2005, but she decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 2005, and was the primary reason that the Ladies Golf Professional Association changed their rules. After she won the Long Drivers of America title in 2009, they edited their rules to say that you must be a female at birth in order to be eligible to compete – how rude! That wasn’t the last of it, though, as Lana also found it rude and sued the organization. Let’s not forget to mention that she won, and the LPGA had to take it out of their rulebook! You go girl.

6. Kristen Worley


Next on our list is Kristen Worley, a male to female transgender that ended up being the first post-op, openly transgender athlete at the 2008 Olympics. Her respective sport is women’s cycling, and she was allowed to compete as a woman, as she wished. Even though she wasn’t able to compete due to timing in the sport, she is an active advocate for those that are transgender athletes.

 

5. Chloie Jonsson


A personal trainer and CrossFit athlete by the name of Chloie Jonsonn actually ended up suing the brand that she loves so much. When she was told by the company that she wasn’t allowed to compete in the women’s fitness competition, she sued for around $2.5 million. The lawsuit is currently ongoing and the fate of Chloie’s fitness competition career is up in arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Chris Mosier


Formerly a female, assigned at birth, Chris Mosier ended up becoming the first transgender who was given the gender they wanted on an American team, rather than the one he was born as. Beyond this, he ended up nailing a spot on the USA’s team for sprint duathlon – the male division! A round of applause is in order for Mosier, another incredible athlete paving the way in the world of acceptance in athletics.

3. Chloe Anderson

Noted as a fantastic collegiate women’s volleyball player, she became the first athlete to be openly transgender at Santa Ana College. Unfortunately, because of the small young minds that roam colleges, she received quite a bit of negativity thrown in her face. Thankfully, she’s able to do what she loves and played on the women’s team.

 

 

2. Matt Dawkins


Born as Maya, she didn’t feel like she belonged in the world as a female. Because of this, she transitioned to Matt, a fantastic high-school athlete. Matt Dawkins goes to Cherokee High School in New Jersey, and is currently competing on the men’s track team, as he wishes.

 

1. Jade Faletto


Last on our list is jade falsetto, formerly known as a male at birth. After finding out who they truly were, the high-school cheerleader came out as their desired gender in 2014. Like many of the athletes on this list, Jade hopes to pave a bit of the way for future transgender athletes.

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