min read
April 13, 2022

Harvard Varsity Club

Schuyler is a celebrated inspirational speaker and inclusion advocate.  He is also the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team.

Schuyler was a star student at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC – one of the top private schools in the country, graduating in 2014. He was aggressively recruited by most of the Ivy League and eventually committed to swim for Harvard.

Schuyler’s love of swimming started with Mommy-and-me classes before he was a year old and he was swimming solo before his first birthday. Schuyler competed in his first meet at the age of 7 and by 10 Schuyler was competing in the Junior Olympics. By 13, Schuyler qualified for his first National level competition, and less than two years later, Schuyler was ranked one of the top 20 15-year-old breast-stroke swimmers in the United States.

In 2012 Schuyler broke his back in three places in a biking accident. He was released from an upper-body brace shortly before swimming championships. He went on to win all three DC-area 100-yard breaststroke championships and qualified as an All-American. At the 2013 NCSA Jr. National Championships he qualified for the U.S. Open – the fastest U.S. meet in a non-Olympic year. At the 2013 USA Swimming National Championships, his 400-yard Medley Relay Team set the U.S. 15-18 year-old Age Group USA Record.

Throughout his journey, but particularly in high school, Schuyler struggled with issues of body image and self-esteem, often battling with disordered eating and self-harm. In the spring of his senior year, he decided to take a gap year before enrolling in college to deal with these issues. In therapy, it became clear that Schuyler’s real struggle was with gender identity and that he was transgender. This presented Schuyler with the most difficult decision ever: whether to continue as a possible NCAA champion – on the women’s team – or to transition to a man and be authentic to himself, accepting the consequences and challenges it would entail.

Schuyler’s choice – to be true to himself – has been historic. His story hit Facebook’s top-trending news and has been recounted globally in thousands of media outlets from The Washington Post and 60 Minutes, and The Ellen Show with millions of online and broadcast media views. MTV cited his story in their list of “2015’s Best Moments for the Trans Community” and Buzzfeed named him one of the “11 Transgender people who are shifting our views.”

In 2019, Schuyler was awarded the prestigious Harvard Athletics Director’s Award, which is not granted annually – but only when an athlete demonstrates outstanding contribution to Athletics through education. He is only the 7th recipient of the award.

Schuyler’s advocacy includes speaking to schools, governments, corporations and non-profits about inclusion and diversity. His policy work has included many National and International organizing committees including the NCAA, the IOC, USA Swimming and the IAAF. His work has received numerous honors from GLAAD, OUT100, MEDA, the Webbys, the Shortys, SMYAL, A-100, AZN100.

Schuyler holds on-going corporate advisory roles with Monte Nido & Affiliates and American Eagle. He is also a Research Assistant at Harvard University and co-principal investigator for a project he began as an undergraduate.

Schuyler is also a writer. His debut novel, Obie Is Man Enough, a middle grade fiction about a tween swimmer, who also happens to be transgender has been met with critical acclaim. See more at the link above. His first published short story appeared in Fresh Ink, a celebrated collection of works by leading young adult writers (by WNDB through Random House).

Schuyler chronicles his journey on Instagram @pinkmantaray, for others to explore.

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