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Brighton Journal | 22nd October 2019

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Transgender athlete to compete in the men’s race at Brighton and Hove triathlon this weekend

Transgender athlete to compete in the men’s race at Brighton and Hove triathlon this weekend
Lauren Nicolle

This weekend is the 4th Brighton and Hove Triathlon taking place on Hove Lawns. It is the largest triathlon ever to take place in Brighton and Hove and sold out early due to unprecedented demand.

This year will see 1,600 competitors from as far afield as Australia, USA, Hong Kong and Czech Republic. There will also be over 166 children competing in the Children’s Triathlon and 105 in the Scootathlon.

Transgender athlete Jason Walker will compete in this weekend’s Brighton and Hove Triathlon on Sunday 15th September to raise awareness of Gender Dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

Jason said:

I knew I was different from the age of 6 but have had gender dysphoria from the age of 11. I’ll be 40 next week. I started transitioning about 7 years ago, but identified as non-binary until a year ago when I decided to start living full time as male as I now have the funds and a supportive partner and work environment that supports me.”

Jason started running in 2012 to keep fit after a shoulder injury sustained in a motorcycle accident temporarily stopped him from being able to swim. Since then, he has accumulated finisher medals in over 75 events including triathlons, half marathons, and trail runs. Explaining why he loves the sport so much, Jason said: 

Brighton & Hove Triathlon is one of my favourite events as it is very inclusive of LGBTQ athletes. This will my third Brighton & Hove Triathlon and I’m fundraising for the LGBTU (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Unsure) Youth Charity Allsorts. I hope that by competing as an openly transgender athlete I will inspire more Trans people to take part! Being active and challenging myself has increased my self-confidence, and helps alleviate my depression and anxiety. It also helps me cope with my gender dysphoria.
“I have to work that much harder to compete as a male athlete. Conversely, competing as female in the past always felt “wrong” and even though it is harder to compete as male, I feel like I belong in that category.”

 

© Jason Walker

Race Director John Lunt said:

“We use to run a separate Rainbow Wave as an LGBT category but many of the participants don’t want to be singled out. It is great that Jason feels so comfortable competing in Brighton. We really welcome such a very able and competitive athlete.
“The 4th Brighton and Hove Triathlon is taking place this weekend on Hove Lawns on 14/15th September and is a weekend of multi-sport for all the family. Children as young as three can race in the Scootathlon on Saturday 14thSeptember whilst the Children and Adult Triathlon will take place on Sunday 15th.”

Organisers for the Brighton and Hove Triathlon are delighted that they have had to close entries early due to unprecedented demand.

For more information, please visit: https://www.brightonandhovetriathlon.com/

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