Different Teams, Same Person

Staff Writer: Maddie Caracalas

Schuyler Bailar attends Harvard University and was one of the fastest high school swimmers just two years ago. Schuyler was a champion swimmer and had a great academic record. Bailar was a champion backstroker, and, lucky enough, a backstroker was exactly what the Harvard Women’s Swim Team needed.

On the other hand, Shuyler switched teams just last fall. While still at Harvard, he was now swimming on the Men’s Team. Harvard became the first athletic team to include an openly transgender male, and the story of how it happened is truly touching.

Stephanie Morawski, Shuyler’s women’s coach, claims the he had been an outstanding student prior to his transition. He had great grades and was a wonderful athlete; he had it all. Now, after his transition, things have changed a bit.

2017-issue-2-maddie1Schuyler Bailar

While he still passes school with fantastic grades, things are quite different on the swim team than he remembers. He’s towards last place during races on the men’s team, while he’d be in first if he was still on the women’s team.

But, he’s finally been able to change his life for the better and embrace himself. He’s happy with the change, he says, regardless of where he places during races. His friends, family, and teammates have all been very supportive during this change.

Schuyler continued to swim on the women’s team after he had come to the realization that he was a male, but this lead to some issues when he was struggling with what was basically a dual identity. The NCAA rules that someone who identifies as male but was born female can still swim on the women’s team, but he can’t take male hormones. Schuyler did this for a while, but Stephanie Morawski and the Harvard Men’s swim team coach came to an agreement that he should just swim for the men’s team, as he was a male.

2017-issue-2-maddie2Schuyler before his transition

Shuyler had gotten top surgery, a procedure to get the breasts removed, and joined the men’s team. His new teammates were all very accepting of their new member, and welcomed him as part of the team.

Schuyler has been doing well on his new team, and is still improving. He has supporters all over the country. He’s made an appearance on the Ellen Show and CBS’s 60 Minutes. Just since last year, his life has changed greatly and it still does. He is very grateful for all of his supporters, friends, and family, and is an inspiration to many teens across America.

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