In the face of some major setbacks for the LGBTQ community, Women’s Running magazine is encouraging progress by putting a transgender woman on the cover for the first time EVER. Refinery29 reports that Amelia Gapin, a talented long distance runner and software engineer, is gracing the magazine's front page in its July issue.
In an interview with People, 33-year-old Gapin spoke of how honored she was to be Women's Running first trans cover runner. "For me to be on the cover of a women's magazine is kind of a sense of validation that other people are seeing transgender women as women," she says. "And having Women's Running want to put me on the cover says a lot about how they see transgender people."
Gapin further explained how she hoped the magazine cover would affect other trans women and men athletes. "Being a transgender woman on the cover of a magazine dedicated to women says people like me are not just being seen, but being seen for who we are. It’s a feeling of acceptance, inclusivity and being welcomed."
For Gapin, running is not just a hobby or a sport. It was a coping mechanism for her while she was going through her transition to become a woman. Running "gave me a place to work through all of the external things, like dealing with other people, and how to approach coming out to people and how to explain," she told People. "And when conversations didn't go well—I lost friends because of it—running was a nice outlet for getting out some of that frustration."
In addition to running, Gapid designed the app MyTransHealth, a tool that gives transgender people find easier access to healthcare.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Sebor, commended Gapin on her bravery in helping the magazine show its support for the trans community. "There are a lot of really unfortunate difficulties and challenges facing the trans community right now," she said to USA Today. "What we hope is that they see there are many of us who stand in support and we want to show that support, and hopefully that provides a bit of comfort."
Though Vanity Fair may have had the most high-profile transgender cover star (think Caitlin Jenner,) Women’s Running is giving a voice to trans athletes and non-celebs.