School News

Breaking Barriers with Chris Mosier

“Don’t give up or hide who you are,” Chris Mosier told the 4th–8th grade students who filled the theater to meet him and who listened to his story with rapt attention. Mosier, a five-time Team USA athlete and transgender advocate, spoke about being a transathlete and lessons he’s learned on his life journey. In the evening, he returned to Lowell to speak to parents, staff, and community members. He had advice for the adults, as well: “Be the person you needed when you were younger.”

Director of Diversity Michelle Belton said, “This opportunity with Chris meant so much to many of our community members and especially the students.” The Middle School Ally Group was particularly excited to welcome Chris Mosier and helped prepare younger students for his visit. They met with 4th graders to share the work of their group, help them understand what being trans means, and preview Mosier’s advocacy work. They also helped 4th graders think about questions they might want to ask him.

Moved by the Ally Group visit, Primary School Director Jason Novak reflected, “The group was absolutely incredible, and the 4th graders had many important questions and ideas! It was a very special to experience the conviction in their message, their increasing awareness and support of the LGBTQ community, and see them express their full selves.”

In addition to telling his story, Mosier spoke about the importance of being a good ally to trans people and how to do that. He also commented on his work as an activist, saying, “I play sports so I can create social change.”

At the evening event for adults, he shared the resources available on his website, Transathlete.com. He also reflected on his transition to a more privileged gender. His awareness of his privilege informs his advocacy work, and he uses his platform to highlight the special challenges faced by transwomen in sports and the inequities between women’s and men’s sports in general.

At the end of both presentations, Mosier was an open book, answering questions in the generous spirit of a true teacher. At the evening session for adults, he urged audience members to take an active part in their own ongoing education—learn what they don’t know by reading books, doing research, and watching documentaries—and to practice using respectful language and making spaces safe for transpeople.

Many thanks to parents Wes Bizzell and Joe Summerhill, who helped make Chris Mosier’s visit possible, and to the Board Diversity Committee who sponsored the event.