Trans swimmer breaks women's record after swimming on men's team

Meghan Cortez-Fields, a swimmer at Ramapo College of New Jersey, recently made headlines by breaking the school record in the 100-yard butterfly at the Cougar Splash Invitational. Cortez-Fields, who identifies as a woman, had previously swam for the men's team for three years before switching to the women's team. She also won first place in the 200-yard individual medley and second place in the 200-yard butterfly.

Cortez-Fields has been open about her experience as a transgender athlete. In a 2022 interview with The Ramapo News, she spoke about the challenges she faces, including the discomfort and dehumanization of swimming without a top. While she is allowed to use the general women's locker room, she is not permitted to use the women's team locker room. Cortez-Fields expressed frustration with the lack of options for changing, noting that some of her teammates on the women's team choose to change with her outside of the locker room.

She also mentioned her admiration for Lia Thomas, a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania who is also transgender. Cortez-Fields empathized with Thomas's experiences and expressed a fear of facing similar challenges herself.

Cortez-Fields sees herself as a trailblazer at Ramapo College and hopes that her story can inspire others. She acknowledges the difficulties that transgender athletes face but believes that they are capable of succeeding. She wants to raise awareness and show that trans people can compete in sports, while also acknowledging the unique challenges they may encounter.

Gary Orr, the coach of the men's swim team, emphasized the importance of creating inclusive environments and learning from student athletes. He believes that trust and respect are essential in fostering a supportive atmosphere.

Cortez-Fields's success in breaking the school record has sparked conversations about transgender athletes in women's sports. As this topic continues to be debated, it is important to consider the experiences and perspectives of all individuals involved while also ensuring fairness and inclusivity for everyone.


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