Casey Legler is what you would call a high achiever.
At 37 years old, she has been an Olympic swimmer and an artist.
She’s also the world’s first woman to be signed as a male model.
French-born, New York-based Legler describes herself as queer and 6’2″, with a “weird, funky history that involves being an Olympic athlete.”
“My body is proportioned to a biologically male body, so I was trained to swim like the boys,” she told ABC’s 7.30 program last night.
However, Legler had to end her career in the pool early, under some upsetting circumstances: After coming out as gay, she was asked to get changed into and out of her swim wear in the disabled bathroom, instead of the female locker room.
In 2012, she was cast as a man last-minute in a shoot for Muse magazine, TIME reports. The day after that shoot, she was officially recruited as a male model, signing to top agency Ford Models men’s division.
“I was put in men’s clothes because I fit in men’s clothes, the only thing that is particularly unique is that I’m biologically a woman,” she told 7:30.
“It would be a lovely place if we didn’t necessarily jump to conclusions because someone wants to wear a dress or because someone wants to wear pants.”
Legler, who has just finished an artist’s residency in Sydney writing a memoir, also hopes her modelling career will benefit young queer boys and girls coming to terms with their identity.
“If the image of me out there in the world makes it easier for one more kid to think that there’s some f**king place for them, then that’s the business I’m into.”