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Watch “Changing the Game” and come to know the transgender experience

“Changing the Game” staring Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, and Andraya Yearwood is available on Hulu starting Tuesday, the first day of pride. Changing the Game highlights the struggles and personal victories of three extraordinary transgender high-school athletes.

Cast members Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, Terry Miller, Ngozi Nnaji, and Andraya Yearwood bring to the small screen a poignant first-hand account of what it is to be young, transgender, and successful.

Although it won huge accolades at the film festivals, Changing the Game wasn’t picked up for big-screen distribution. That could be attributed to the pandemic since those venues just begun to reopen but it’s more than that.

The film is premiering commercially in a time when it’s a curse to accel as a trans athlete. Arguably the best known of the three, Andraya Yearwood, has been vilified by hate groups in 30 states as they push their discriminatory agenda and held up as the black athlete white people should fear.

Mack Beggs, a transman from Texas won two state championships in Texas while enduring tremendous abuse. This could have been different if the Governor’s office hadn’t forced rule changes prohibiting trans people from competing in their authentic gender. Not a single Republican lawmaker mentioned Mack Beggs during the 2021 session because that would have pointed out the folly of their anti-trans sports legislation.

Instead, they all singled out two transgender runners from Connecticut, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood. The truth is that they prevailed over their competition because they were faster. The cisgender runner who led the lawsuit failed to qualify for her college team because she wasn’t fast enough.

Twenty-year-old transgender activist Sarah Rose Huckman is attending university in New Hampshire.

Sarah transitioned to her authentic self in the 7th grade. Like many families with a transgender child, she and her family have advocated to ensure Sarah is treated with dignity and respect in school, sports, and all aspects of life.

In High School, Sarah was just like most of her classmates: when not in class, she enjoyed spending time with her friends and as a 4-sport athlete, participating on her high school’s Nordic Ski, Winter Indoor Track, Spring Track and Cross Country teams.

Sarah is often invited to speak about the importance of protecting transgender youth from discrimination. As a political activist, she served 3 years on the New Hampshire Legislative Advisory Council and was instrumental in the passage of legislation that explicitly extended New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination protections to transgender people.

Sarah is active as a YouTube vlogger and was recently featured in the award-winning documentary “Changing the Game” about transgender high school athletes.

Currently, in her first year of studies at the University of New Hampshire, Sarah sings with the acapella group Wild Tones, and serves as a Campus Ambassador for GLAAD.

The Huckman family, along with many chickens and two goats, live in West Ossipee, New Hampshire, where Jen works as a Municipal Clerk, and Tom is a self-employed welder and machinist.

Jen and Sarah Rose will take part in the M.A.D. Love segment, moderated by The Boston Globe’s Meredith Goldstein, in which three Mother-And-Daughter pairs will share the stage to talk about life, love, challenges and how they have learned to see the world from each other’s perspective.

The point of this article is to explore and celebrate transgender athletes’ successes and how sport has changed and enriched their lives. It is our hope that in the coming years that this will become welcome news and not something to put on a shelf.

As a vet and transgender marathon runner, I understand some of what these athletes have gone through. In light of that, I offer that as a closeted trans person in the 70’s Army I never failed to max my physical fitness tests. I always loved the challenge. My physical fitness returned to the forefront of my mind when I began my medical transition in the ’90s. I loved the changes but I was too self consious to run in public.

After a number of years, I became more confident and started to run again. It felt so amazing I just wanted more. In my first 5k, I earned a generic Master Award but didn’t get one for my first place win as a woman. My next race of note was a Firemen’s 10K benefit in which I won first for my age bracket and the master’s award.

Since then I advanced to my mother of all races the half Marathon. But train as I might I have never won. I learned through those experences just how empowering just finishing is. I am forever just half crazy!

And that dear readers are what racists and transphobic lawmakers fear the most. They don’t care about women’s sports.

I will be running my first race since being vaccinated, a 5K to benefit the Texas Woman’s University soccer team. I won that too when I was 61, but now that I am 64 and 10 minutes slower I have some work to do just to compete! Talk to you soon, I’m out for a run.

PS If you don’t understand the transgender experience and haven’t yet seen Changing The Game, it’s free with sign up on Hulu.

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender