Australian and Canadian Paralympian champion Ness Murby has revealed they are trans, using the pronouns he/him and they/them. Murby, who is legally blind and suffers from nerve damage in their left leg, made the revelation in the Five Rings to Rule Them All podcast. To date, no person has competed in the Paralympics as an out trans competitor.
“I’m genderqueer, transmasculine, and my pronouns are he/him and they/them,” Murby said. “It is an honor to say that out loud.”
Murby currently competes in the javelin throw, winning a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships and a bronze in the 2017 games. They had previously competed in goalball, the most popular team sport for those with impaired vision. The sport is akin to a combination of hockey and dodgeball, played on a rectangular court with players attempting to roll a ball into their opponent’s goal while simultaneously defending their own. The floor is marked with heavy tape and the ball has a bell inside so that players can orients their position on the court and locate the ball.
Murby joins Italian track and field athlete Valentina Petrillo as the only known trans athletes attempting to compete in the upcoming Paralympics. Petrillo was only recently allowed to compete as a woman, and has won multiple gold medals competing as both a man and a woman at other events.
The 35-year-old Australian native who now lives in Canadafollowed up the announcement with a tweet.
“I believe in a world where this is possible, [because] I believe this world is big enough for me, and [because] I’m determined to meet this moment unapologetically as me,” they wrote.
In the podcast interview, Murby expressed hope that their revelation can help others who feel they are alone and unwelcomed because of who they are.
“Everyone should feel like there is space for them in this world,” they said. “You are enough, we are enough, there is enough space for all of us.”