Hi Isaac! How have you been since we met last November for NYC marathon? The Covid-19 pandemic was unexpected. How is it affecting you and the trans community?
Isaac: For me, I’m mainly affected as a theatre artist since all of my shows are closed for now and I don’t have any work. In general the trans community is disproportionately affected as we are more likely to experience workplace and housing discrimination and be homeless. Trans people are routinely turned away from homeless shelters and with the pandemic, this makes them very vulnerable. Although I do have a home, I am worried about potentially catching COVID as I have health conditions that put me at risk and some doctors and hospitals will refuse to treat trans people.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? When did you join Front Runners New York and how did you find out about it?
Isaac: I joined FRNY in May 2017. I moved to NYC in the fall of 2016 and joined team in training to run the NYC half since I wanted the guaranteed entry to get myself back into running. I started doing a lot of NYRR races and always saw a fairly large contingent of Front runners at every race. After doing some research on running clubs in the City, i found out FRNY was an LGBT club and pretty much joined immediately.
What do you really like about Front Runners New York?
Isaac: I love that I not only have support in my training and running endeavors but that I also have made some of my best friends through the club. Especially when I first moved to the City, i had hardly any friends and with so many people in the club i found friends who shared many of my interests and became the people i would invite to go on trips with or go see theatre with and generally people I enjoyed hanging out with.
Tell us about the transpeople of Front Runners New York. Are there many of them? Do they have leadership roles with the club?
Isaac: There are a few very active trans people, overall I’m not entirely sure how many trans members we have (I’d say somewhere in the 10-15 range but I haven’t looked at the stats lately). I was on the board for a year and I know of at least one other who was on the board before me and we have a few who are committee members
What do you think could help Front Runners New York and other Frontrunners clubs to include more transpeople runners?
Isaac: I think, as an LGBT club, it’s really important to be actively supportive of the trans members specifically and to give us leadership opportunities and give specific support to trans people. Even when looking for community in LGBT groups, some are just not open to being educated about trans people and issues and can be exclusionary to us and our needs in a club. Especially for an athletic organisation right now, there are a lot of bills around the US being proposed to limit trans people’s ability to participate. Organising letter writing or phone call campaigns, highlighting achievements of trans members, and being openly supportive of trans members can go a long way and shows prospective members it’s a welcoming organisation for them
Thank you so much Isaac!
And thanks everyone for reading. I hope this interview inspires more transpeople to join and get involved in leadership roles within each club, and I hope this also inspires cis-members to be allies in promoting trans-inclusion and active participation in each club. Join the conversation here: https://www.facebook.
THANK YOU BUDIAMAN FOR THE INTERVIEW AND WRITE UP!