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Amelia Gapin Is Our Transgender Cover Runner

"I am entirely me." —Amelia Gapin

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“I am entirely me.”

We got up way too early one chilly Monday in May and met up with Amelia Gapin on the Brooklyn Bridge for an amazing one-of-a-kind urban photo shoot at sunrise. She ran by photographer James Farrell countless times, and we warmed up with coffee and a New York street pretzel—yum! We couldn’t be more inspired by the dedication of our cover model to her true self.

Why do you run?
I run because it feels good, both physically and mentally. Running is the only time I can clear my head and escape from the world. And let’s not forget being able to enjoy more of the three B’s—beers, burgers and burritos!

What does it mean to you to be on the cover?
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.

Where is your favorite place to run?
Liberty State Park is my favorite place these days. Not only can I run to it from my house, but there are beautiful views of lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, especially if you’re out there early enough to watch the sunrise.

Are you training for any races?
I’m trying to get in shape for the Chicago Marathon in October and then the RunDisney Dopey Challenge in January. I lost a few months of running after my surgery earlier this year and, as a result, I’m a bit behind the curve for being able to go hard, so I’m looking to get a “PR in fun” for these races!

Do you listen to music while you run?
When I run outside, I like to lose myself in my surroundings and not be distracted by music. However, when I’m on the treadmill, I’ll take all the upbeat punk and pop punk you’ve got!

What were your favorite clothes for the shoot?
I loved the Lululemon shorts! They’re just the right length and have three pockets while still being incredibly comfortable. I was very impressed!

What’s your best tip for new runners?
Have fun and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest or the slowest runner out there—it just matters that you’re having fun and doing it for you.

What’s something that you’d like other WR readers to know about you?
I think a lot of times people get pigeonholed into being just one thing, especially when they’re a vocal advocate for that thing. But I’m more than just a trans person. I’m an engineer, a startup co-founder, a wife, a nerd, a feminist and a thousand other things too.

More about Amelia: She has been on hormones for three years, and says she had been back and forth about surgery for awhile. She hesitated for many reasons, not the least of which was the apprehension and fear she had of the long and intense post-operation recovery period. She finally decided to undergo the procedure, because “my big goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I can’t qualify for it as a woman without having surgery.” Find her full story, and the story of other transgender athletes, in our July feature, “Body In Motion,” on newsstands now!