American middle distance runner, Nikki Hiltz, came out as trans non-binary on Trans Day of Visibility.
The sports icon had previously come out as gay and championed LGBTQ+ rights and representation throughout their career, but has since updated their fans and followers on they prefer to self-identify.
“I’m Nikki and I’m transgender. That means I don’t identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary. The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid,” Hiltz wrote introducing themselves on Instagram.
The professional runner continued to open up about now identifying as trans and non-binary.
“Sometimes I wake up feeling like a powerful queen and other days I wake up feeling as if I’m just a guy being a dude, and other times I identify outside of the gender binary entirely. It’s complicated and complex and something I’m still trying to navigate myself, but I’ve decided it’s time to share my gender fluidity with you all.
“Posting this is both exciting and terrifying but I am and always will be a firm believer that vulnerability and visibility are essential in creating social change and acceptance. So here I am, once again, coming out of a closet to be my true authentic self.”
Hiltz ended their statement hoping to shed some light on trans representation and thanked the trans community: “Today I can be visible because of the many Trans folks who have paved the way for me.
“So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and happy trans day of visibility to my beautiful and powerful trans family.”
View this post on Instagram
After coming out, the 26-year-old now displays their pronouns as “she” and “they”.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrated Hiltz’s news online thanking the sporting star for bravely speaking out about their identity.
Thanks for encouraging trans athletes everywhere to live their lives openly and authentically,” HRC posted online.
Hiltz posted a similar message of strength and solidarity on Twitter thanking the community.
“When I was 19 I came out about my sexuality. Yesterday at 26 I came out about my gender identity,” they wrote.
“There’s nothing like the morning after coming out. This morning there are nerves, excitement and a heart full of gratitude. All I can say is thank you, it feels so good to be seen.”
When I was 19 I came out about my sexuality. Yesterday at 26 I came out about my gender identity.
There’s nothing like the morning after coming out. This morning there are nerves, excitement and a heart full of gratitude. All I can say is thank you, it feels so good to be seen.
— Nikki Hiltz (@Nikki_Hiltz) April 1, 2021
The Olympic hopeful athlete is backed by Adidas and is a well-known figure in the professional athletic community.
As part of an Adidas campaign, Hiltz shared a message of inclusivity and visibility in sports.
The athlete shared:”‘Be the person you needed when you were younger,’ and for me that means someone being their authentic self while chasing their dream.”
View this post on Instagram
Since sharing their coming out post on Instagram, Hiltz recently posted an image of themselves two days ago captioned: “Just your average guy being a dude”.
Hiltz has a record of supporting the queer community and has backed campaigns for The Trevor Project to raise money supporting LGBTQ+ youth.
Last year, the athlete took part in a virtual 5k which raised over $40,000 for The Trevor Project. You can watch Hiltz’s incredible attempt here or below: