Schuyler Bailar, the first openly transgender swimmer in NCAA Division I, shared photos of his transition on social media marked by two prom photos taken three years apart.
The photo on the left shows Bailar in 2014 at his senior prom wearing a dress. The photo on the right is Bailar attending a friend’s prom in 2017 but this time wearing a tux. While the physical changes are apparent, Bailar writes that he has always been himself in both photos.
“I did not wake up one day and just become a man, nor was I ever truly a woman. I have always been me — whether dressed in a gown or a tie. Change is possible. Happiness is possible. Authenticity is possible. But all of these things take time and effort and perseverance and self love. Still, they are ever possible; so, never forget this, my friends. Never give up on yourselves,” Bailar, 21, captioned the photo.
Bailar noted that the journey wasn’t as picture-perfect as the two photos appear.
“Between and before these pictures are hundreds of days of incredibly important discovery and pain and growth that I will never ignore,” Bailar continued.
Yahoo reports that Bailar is on the men’s swim team at Harvard University where he is a psychology student. He chronicles his transition journey on Instagram.