Words of support for Chloie Jonsson from LGBT sports leaders

The LGBT Sports Coalition has called for fitness company CrossFit to reverse its decision to force one of its own athletes, Chloie Jönnson, to compete with the wrong gender in their latest championship event because she happens to be transgender.

Earlier this month, Chloie was told by CrossFit that she would not be permitted to compete against other women because she is a transgender woman.

“An organization cannot rightfully claim to welcome trans athletes with 'open arms' and then create conditions which prevent them from participating,” said triathlete and Transathlete.com founder Chris Mosier. “Many athletic governing bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, have created guidelines for allowing trans athletes to compete as their lived gender if they have legal recognition of their gender, have had two years of hormone therapy, and have undergone gender reassignment surgery. It is ridiculous to think Chloie Jönsson would meet the standards for transgender women to compete at the highest level of sports but is not allowed to compete in CrossFit.”

Mosier and GLAAD launched a petition on MoveOn.org, calling for CrossFit to reverse its policy. The petition currently has over 1,800 signatures. Add your signature to the name now.

“The truth is that people vary in size, strength, skill, and ability, regardless of gender,” Mosier says. “There is absolutely no evidence that trans women on hormone replacement therapy for a significant amount of time would have any athletic or physical advantage over their cisgender counterparts. The idea that Chloie would have a competitive advantage as a transgender woman is based on assumptions that are not well-founded in any science. CrossFit's decision to ban Chloie from competition highlights a lack of understanding about how a medical transition affects the body.”

 “As obsessed as they are with charting personal athletic achievement, one would think the people associated with CrossFit would rely on data, rather than misconceptions and prejudices about transgender athletes when making decisions about the ability of the transgender members of their family to compete according to their own gender,” noted Associate Head Coach of men's rowing at the University of Michigan Charley Sullivan, a member of the Equality Coaching Alliance.

Pam Watts, Executive Director of NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, notes that her organization would have no problem embracing a competitor of Jönsson's caliber. “NIRSA recognizes and celebrates a transgender student population among their tournament participants and enables students to participate in intramural and sport club divisions based upon their personal gender identity.”

The LGBT Sports Coalition is an association of organizations and individuals committed to ending anti-LGBT bias in sports by 2016. Coalition member organizations include GLAAD, National Center for Lesbian Rights, It Gets Better, Equality Coaching Alliance, You Can Play, Outsports, GLSEN, Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Women’s Sports Foundation, NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, AAHPERD, Federation of Gay Games, Campus Pride, Br{ache The Silence, Athlete Ally, NCAA Office of Inclusion and GO! Athletes. Individual members include Kirk Walker, Christina Kahrl, Sue Rankin, Kye Allums, Erin Buzuvis & Pat Griffin, Anthony Nicodemo, Chris Mosier, Stephanie Wheeler, Laurie Priest, Jeff Sheng and Sherri Murrell.