CrossFit outed and disqualified Chloie Jonsson from competition because she was a transgender woman.
Last year, Chloie Jonsson registered to compete in the CrossFit Games, a contest aimed at determining the fittest man and woman. Chloie is a transgender woman, has been living as a woman since her teenage years, and registered as such.
Chloie was then anonymously outed to CrossFit as a transgender woman. The response of CrossFit was to invalidate her registration and state that all athletes must register and compete under their birth gender.
According to a letter sent by CrossFit's attorneys:
The fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has the genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women. That Chloie may have felt herself emotionally, and very conscientiously, to be a woman in her heart, and that she ultimately underwent the legal and other surgical procedures to carry that out, cannot change that reality. Further, the timing of her sex reassignment surgery (and any subsequent hormone therapy) does not change this discussion.
Our decision has nothing to do with ‘ignorance’ or being bigots — it has to do with a very real understanding of the human genome, of fundamental biology, that you are either intentionally ignoring or missed in high school.
CrossFit's decision has already angered franchise owners. You can read one franchise owner's open letter to CrossFit, where she tells them why their actions have damaged the organization's reputation, and what they can do to fix it:
So now I’m looking for a way that those of us who live and love this sport can stand up against the bigotry and incessant douchebaggery. Because my gym, which is both my family and my home, is not represented by this behavior. And my members, who are all manner of queer and open-hearted, deserve better than having to fight off the bad reputation that the behavior of CrossFit HQ and the CrossFit Games gives us. We’re here to build bodies and communities, we don’t have time to constantly defend and justify our sport.
That said, I’m also damned good at PR. It’s what I did before I left it all for the world of matrimony, motherhood and CrossFit. So, CrossFit, it’s my turn to train you. There are no MODs for this. Here’s how you fix the mess that you’ve made.
The Trans*Athlete web site lists the policies of major sporting organizations, including the Association of Boxing Commissions, the International Olympic Committee, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association, which include transgender athletes.
It's time that CrossFit understand that transgender women are women. Visit www.glaad.org/crossfit for more information.
Chris Mosier, founder of Trans*Athlete, has launched a petition against CrossFit's anti-transgender policy. Visit the MoveOn.org petition and add your name to the list of people calling on CrossFit to implement an inclusive policy that allows transgender athletes to compete as their consistent and lived gender.