Competition was positive for transgender bodybuilder despite loss

SAN DIEGO -- Bodybuilder Chris Tina Bruce didn't win her first bodybuilding competition in 18 years, but she still feels victorious.

That's because Bruce, a 43-year-old personal trainer in San Diego, is transgender and her participation in the Border States Classic Bodybuilding competition on Oct. 29 represented not just three months of intense physical preparation, but also a lifetime of coming to terms with her true identity as a woman.

The 6-foot, 3-inch Bruce dropped 40 pounds for the event, and while the organizers were OK with a former male competing as female, she admits she was nervous about the reaction her participation would engender.

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