Transgender Brookline High Track Runner One of Several Recent Transgender Athletes In Massachusetts

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The Brookline High girls’ indoor track and field team has a transgender runner.

Chloe Barnes, a junior on the team, is a biological male who identifies as a transgender girl, as TB Daily News reported in January and Brookline’s student newspaper, The Sag, reported last year.

Barnes is a varsity runner. Barnes helped Brookline win the 4×200 meter relay (1:50.43) at the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Northeast Invitational on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Below is a video of Barnes’s performance. (Barnes is the second leg of the relay team.)

So is Barnes the only transgender athlete in Massachusetts in recent years? 


Here are five other confirmed examples of transgender athletes competing in high school and college sports for Massachusetts schools in the past decade.


1.  Jac Guerra

Jac Guerra, a biological female who identifies as a transgender man, was a member of the men’s cross country and track and field teams at Brandeis University (NCAA Division 3). Guerra attended Brandeis from 2018 to 2022.

Initially, Guerra, who has identified as a man since before entering college, was a member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams as a freshman and sophomore. However, Guerra decided in February 2020 to begin the process of switching over from the women’s teams to the men’s teams, according to The Justice, the student newspaper at Brandeis University.

“Transitioning while being a student athlete was intense in terms of figuring out how to make sure everything I have been doing is allowed in the eyes of the NCAA,” Guerra told The Justice.

As a senior during the 2021-2022 school year, Guerra captained both the men’s cross-country team and the track and field team. Guerra was an above-average NCAA Division 3 runner. As a senior, Guerra earned a 95th-place finish out of 234 competitors in the NCAA Division 3 East Region Championship meet on November 13, 2021 (with a combined time of 29:01 in the 3.1 kilometer and 5 kilometer races).

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s official policy allows for flexibility when it comes to gender identity. Under NCAA policy, a biological female may compete on either a men’s team or a women’s team, provided that the athlete is not taking transitioning hormones. If the athlete is taking hormones meant to assist physical transitioning to a masculine identity, then the athlete no longer can compete on the women’s team.

Here is what the NCAA’s policy says on the matter (where “FTM” stands for “female-to-male” and “MTF” stands for “male-to-female”):


Trans student-athletes who are not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with their sex assigned at birth.

• A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.

• A trans female (MTF) student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.


2.  Alex Wicken

Alex Wicken, a biological female who identifies as a transgender man, is a senior on the Brandeis (NCAA Division 3) men’s fencing team.

Wicken came out as transgender in high school but competed on the women’s side as a freshman, sophomore, and junior in college,  according to The Justice, the student newspaper at Brandeis University.

The senior, who competes as an epee, went 0-1 in the men’s season opener; Wicken lost the match 15-7. Brandeis opened its season with the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Fall Tournament on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. 

Wicken does not appear to be in the team’s starting lineup this season. 

A junior last year, Wicken competed as a foil on the women’s side. Wicken went 15-45 in 60 matches during the 2021-2022 season. 


3. Sivan Kotler-Berkowitz

The lone high schooler on this list, Sivan Kotler-Berkovitz is a biological female who identifies as a transgender man. The high school student is a senior at Gann Academy in Waltham; Gann Academy is a private Jewish high school that competes in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC).

Kotler-Berkowitz competed on the varsity boys’ soccer team at Gann Academy in the fall of 2022, playing defense. Gann Academy went 6-2-2 and lost the NEPSAC quarterfinal game 5-2 to The MacDuffie School (of Granby, Massachusetts) on November 17, 2022.

Kotler-Berkowitz does not appear to have scored any goals last fall, based on the recaps on the team’s web site.


4. Schuyler Bailar

Schuyler Bailar, a biological female who identifies as a transgender man, was a member of the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team (NCAA Division 1) from 2015 to 2019. Bailar’s career was the first known instance of a female identifying as a man competing in an NCAA Division 1 sport.

At first, Bailar was offered a spot on the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team, but she stopped identifying as a woman during a gap year before going to Harvard. As a result, men’s coach Kevin Tyrrell offered Bailar a spot on his team.

Bailar ended up becoming an above-average NCAA Division 1 men’s swimmer; Bailar’s best 110-yard breaststroke as a senior (2018-2019 season) ranked in the top 15 percent of all NCAA men’s competitors that season.


5. Ryan Socolow

t Endicott (NCAA Division 3), Ryan Socolow, a biological female, competed on the women’s lacrosse team for four seasons (2011 to 2014). Socolow started identifying as a man in June 2013 — after lacrosse season ended. However, as a senior in 2014, Socolow identified as a man but was not yet taking male hormones. Socolow shined in net for Endicott, helping the team to a 14-4 season. Socolow was also sharp in net the season before, helping the team to a 13-8 record


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