American Runner Nikki Hiltz Comes Out As Transgender And Non-Binary
Nikki Hiltz has come out as transgender and non-binary.
The American middle-distance runner, who has their sights set firmly on competing at Tokyo Olympics later this year, made the announcement on International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Hiltz's Instagram bio now says that their preferred pronouns are "she/they".
"Hi, I'm Nikki and I'm transgender," they said via social media.
"That means I don't identify with the gender I was assigned at birth.
"The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary. The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a powerful queen and other days I wake up feeling as if I'm just a guy being a dude, and other times I identify outside of the gender binary entirely.
"It's complicated and complex and something I'm still trying to navigate myself, but I've decided it's time to share my gender fluidity with you all. Posting this is both exciting and terrifying but I am and always will be a firm believer that vulnerability and visibility are essential in creating social change and acceptance. So here I am, once again, coming out of a closet to be my true authentic self.
"Today I can be visible because of the many Trans folks who have paved the way for me. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and happy trans day of visibility to my beautiful and powerful trans family."
26-year-old Hiltz is widely revered in the LGBTQI+ community, having initially come out as gay during their college days.
They has since gone on to clinch gold in the 1500 metre race during the 2019 Pan American Games and third place in the USA Outdoor Track and Feld Championships the very same year.
And a day after making her announcement, Hiltz took to social media again to explain her overwhelming emotions.
"When I was 19 I came out about my sexuality. Yesterday at 26 I came out about my gender identity," they tweeted.
"There's nothing like the morning after coming out. This morning there are nerves, excitement and a heart full of gratitude. All I can say is thank you, it feels so good to be seen."
After coming out as trans and non-binary, Hiltz was met with plenty of positive and supportive comments from fans on social media.
But it seems this isn't the first time they has been an inspiration both on and off the track.
When I was 19 I came out about my sexuality. Yesterday at 26 I came out about my gender identity.
There's nothing like the morning after coming out. This morning there are nerves, excitement and a heart full of gratitude. All I can say is thank you, it feels so good to be seen.
- Nikki Hiltz (@Nikki_Hiltz) April 1, 2021
"I was at a meet one time and this dad approached me right before the race and said, 'I want you to know that my daughter just came out to me and she said she saw Nikki Hiltz do it and if she can be out and proud, so could she'," Hiltz told Team USA last year.
"During that race I thought I'm doing it for more kids like that so more kids can see me. I feel like I have this superpower that none of my competitors have in that I have this whole community behind me and supporting me."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@nikkihiltz
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