Avery Cunningham, a 26-year-old Trans man from Birmingham is running the Great North Run to increase the visibility of trans role models and to raise money for Mermaids, a charity supporting transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children and young people.
Avery works to help underrepresented groups get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), by the way of offering tutoring in their A-Levels, guidance in careers they can get and what university is like.
He’s also Director of Student Membership for oSTEM Inc. an international charity supporting LGBTQIA+ people in STEM. The organisation runs professional and social events creating a community of like-minded people, allowing them to connect over the thing they love, STEM, whilst being comfortable in their identities.
Avery explains, “Being a trans man has been an interesting experience. At only 26 I’ve reached the point of being an elder of sorts in the community, which is ridiculous to think about.
“I’ve struggled at times to find role models for myself, especially those who are similar to me. Transgender people in STEM for example, are few in far between, as are visible trans men full stop, so it’s been hard.
“That’s why I’m so passionate about doing things like running the Great North Run, because I can become a role model for those like me and be what I needed from others.
“It breaks my heart to see those after me on seemingly never-ending waiting lists for help, I wanted to raise money to help get them the support they need and also support their families.
“I owe a lot to my support system and so I know how important charities like Mermaid’s are as they also support friends and family – so they can better support the trans people in their lives.”
In 2021 the Great North Run, celebrated four decades of incredible runners. This year, our focus is very firmly on the future, and our first steps towards the 50th. At the 2022 Great North Run we’re shining a spotlight on the next generation of runners; why they run and why they raise.
60,000 people have entered the event which will take place on Sunday 11 September, returning to its iconic city to sea route after two years of pandemic related changes.
The Great North Run will be televised live on BBC One from 10-12:10 and from 12:10 – 14:00 on BBC 2. A highlights programme will be shown on BBC 2 from 17:00 – 18:00.
For more information visit greatrun.org/north.
To donate to Avery’s fundraising visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/avery-cunningham