Ruth Seaman

 
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Oklahoma City, OK

"I co-founded the world's first all trans woman cycling team.  We started it a year ago, cyclist transwomen in Colorado Springs. And I decided to-well, I was frustrated not being able to get on a team. I’m a competitive cyclist. So, we decided to do it. We worked with USA Cycling which is a governing body under the US Olympic committee. We worked with them and they were so kind to us. And they became the world’s first, well their first ever trans athletes with USA cycling that were out and open and here we are. We agreed to their policies which at the time were temporary policies, but we agreed to them, which just followed the IOC policy. International Olympic Committee set their policy for the previous Olympics, and then USAC adopted their policies temporarily until they just developed theirs. So, we kind of worked with them, and they allowed us to form as a team and that’s cool. And we were very strict and follow their rules. And they’re very kind- really! So, we’re about twenty girls right now. Only about nine are racing, the rest are in development or don’t want to be racers but want to be part of the club and that’s great. We have about ten sponsors, most of them are European, but a couple are some American companies that sponsor us. We’re non-profit, so we hope to get bigger sponsorship now that we have our 501c3. First rider just went pro, and we hope- we have a rider in Mexico that we hope will turn pro as well. We’re out, we’re not stealth and it’s fun. We’re having lots of fun with the cycling community in general. There’re trolls, of course, but we don’t worry about that. But generally, the cycling community, especially the ones who are truly cyclists not just whatever-whatever, they’ve been really cool with us. Even here in Oklahoma, I’m not shy I’ve been very open with the other girls I race against. This is me. And they've been supportive. The ones that perhaps aren’t have been silent. I’ve had no hate openly. Of course, if I was winning everything, perhaps that’d change." 

 

Transilient: So, what does it feel like to cycle? Do you feel alive? 

 

Ruth: "Oh my god, yeah. It feels great. It’s been hard- I’ve had some adversity with transition. And it cannot be taken away from you. You cannot be a victim on the bike. There’s nothing anyone can do to you- they can take your bike away, I suppose. But it’s you and the bike and that's it. You can show your heart. You can express who you are in a race. You can express who you are by doing your fair share and more, and just like, your character in race. There's a lot that can be said about you- how you race."

 
Basil Soper