CrossFit — Sued By Transgender Athlete … You Won’t Let Me Compete With Women!
Chloie Jonsson, a personal trainer and CrossFit athlele from Los Gatos, CA., is suing CrossFit for $2.5 million. She wanted to compete last year in the CrossFit Games, but was banned from competing as a woman because she was born a man. A transgender, Jonsson has undergone surgery and is recognized by the state as a woman. She is accusing them of “violating her civil rights,” according to TMZ.
Jonsson, 34, has considered herself female since her teenage years. She underwent transformation surgery in 2006 and even changed her birth certificate to female. She states that the surgery, along with hormone therapy, are enough to be recognized by the state as a female and she is exerting her right to compete in the CrossFit events as a woman.
The athlete was banned from competing at CrossFit events, however, because the company is standing by the fact that Jonsson was born a male. They believe that Jonsson may have an advantage over women in the competition who were not born with male chromosomes.
The company maintains its stance that they want to keep the competitions fair for everyone involved. Allowing Jonsson to compete would go against that rule, giving her an unfair advantage over the female competitors. She received a letter from CrossFit saying, “We have simply ruled that based upon being born as a male, she will need to compete in the Men’s Division.”
Dale Saran, CrossFit’s general counsel, posted in an online discussion board where he states that Jonsson failed to supply medical records. He declined to make a statement regarding her case at this time, according to The Associated Press.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., CrossFit is connected to more than 7,000 gyms worldwide. They offer intense training that combines cardio, weight training and mixed martial arts. The company states that they may open a new category for transgender athletes if there is enough interest.
Waulken McCoy, Jonsson’s lawyer, filed a lawsuit on her behalf on Thursday, based on the fact that California prohibits discrimination and gender bias. He said that CrossFit’s decision to ban the athlete from the women’s division is “horrifying,” especially considering that the Olympics have already address this issue and recognize transgenders under their current gender.
In the past, sex testing was used to verify gender identity. Their goal was to rule out those trying to fool the system and compete in a category they should not be in. Times have changed, however, and so have the rules. According to the The International Olympic Committee, to qualify as an Olympic athlete, transgenders must have undergone sex change surgery, two years of hormone therapy and be recognized by the state as the gender under which they want to compete. By these rules, Jonsson would qualify to compete as a woman.
Now the transgender athlete is suing CrossFit for banning her from competing as a woman, despite her female status. The lawsuit is drawing attention to transgenders and their rights and the outcome may help others gain recognition under their current gender identity.
It’s just my opinion but I feel sorry for any genetic females who may compete against Chloei.
She looks great but it seems clear that her male physiology gives her a distinct advantage over genetic females.
This is not a simple issue that can be resolved by applying maxims. One one hand Chloei has the legal right to be treated as a female but on the other the female athletes involved in the competition are banned from using drugs and other forms of physical enhancement. Chloei has natural testosterone and has used hormones in her transition. One could argue that allowing Chloei to compete against genetic women would be infringing their right to compete against women on equal terms. The result of this case will be far reaching and ground-breaking as all the good newspapers say!
Good points David. Another thing to remember is this is, apparently, a private company’s event; they ought to be free to set whatever rules they like. Just like no restaurant can be forced to serve you or a shop forced to sell at a certain price. Those who don’t like it can set up their own competing event with different rules, and/or lobby for the company to see things their way.
If this were a state event it would perhaps be different.
You have a point, however, a bar that makes a choice to discriminate against someone based on gender, race, ethnicity, colour should be subject to penalty by law. There are laws against discrimination and defamation. While I believe in free speech and choice I don’t believe in the blanket discrimination of one gender and don’t believe anyone should be allowed to do so.
I don’t agree 🙁 Maybe I can persuade you of my viewpoint, although I didn’t intend to get into this with my initial post.
Ethically I believe it appropriate that one can choose what one does with one’s property, including deciding who gets to use it and on what terms, otherwise it isn’t one’s property is it? Here the property is the business / establishment under discussion.
We can certainly disagree with the choice someone might make, and are free to take our business elsewhere and/or shame them. In this case I am not sure what the right decision is, and you yourself seemed to be arguing it wouldn’t be fair competition for this biological man to compete. But if we are sure we are in the right and that others would agree, it is only consistent to believe that patrons should have a choice to make, and expect that they would mostly choose our way. And if they didn’t, what would that tell us?
In such disputes I believe there is no need for coercion via the armed thugs of “the law”. The law, and the morally and ethically right thing, are entirely orthogonal concepts. They are often in agreement, and often not. Unfortunately we are brought up to believe that they are one and the same. The “legal” genocides of history should be ample evidence that the law, and righteousness, are frequently at odds.
“Laws” about what is a legal union, and whether homosexual or transgender acts are “right”, are a great example of my point. If you’re not infringing on the genuine rights of others (and there is no right to not be offended), ethically you should be free to do whatever you want, but unfortunately this is not true in most of the world today. And there is certainly no reasonable “right” anyone has to dictate who can compete in a private event, just as there is no reasonable right anyone has, including “government”, to dictate what two consenting adults agree to do in private.
Perhaps we should discuss in person 🙂 I’d be happy to.
Thank you for your site, YouTube channel, and openness, I appreciate them all.
Hi Neil, You are right when you suggest it is a complex manner and I can see that there is perhaps only a little difference between forcing business owners to cater to every gender and race etc perhaps against their will and not allowing a trans woman to compete against genetic women. also, they are, on other terms, miles apart.
I believe, for example, that women cannot compete physically with men on equal terms as a rule and neither should they be encouraged to do so by women’s movements that suggest unless they are taking up an infantry role in the military they are somehow failing. The same line of, what I believe is, reason and logic makes me feel that a trans girl has a great advantage over genetic girls and so the field of play is not a level one. Annie is much stronger than any woman I have met even though she is not a big person.
As far as people being given free choice to cater to who they please . . . .I agree, they should have the right to do so. This does not mean that I agree with their logic or absence of logic. Their behaviour is based on some manufactured prejudice against ladyboys and is irrational. I can’t support it because it’s moronic.
Do you have any feeling about what other transwomen/ladyboys feel about this issue? I know that they probably have a range of opinions, but I would guess they have thought about the complexities around this issue more then most have.
It seems to me that there are two main reasons why sports are divided by gender: men have physical advantages and social taboo about mixing sexes. For example, martial arts competitions would be an example of the former, but billiards might be completely an example of the latter.
Michael, It’s an intriguing question and one that has to be approached with one’s personal feelings absolutely at True North. Annie and I have met a number of western trans-women ranging from “sort of feminine” to “absolutely men with a pair of boobs incongruously bolted on”. A few Thai ladyboys can be defined by those descriptions too, but a very few. Many wester trans-women started their transitions way too late but I think that may change in future generations in which some folk identify as female very early on (the complications about that is an entire subject in itself) and because of the early use of hormone blockers etc . . we may see much more feminine bodied trans-women who dodged the puberty changes and remained willowy. In the future then, this kind of debate may be redundant.
Currently, Annie and her friends think it is a scam for male bodied trans-women to compete against girls. As they describe things, a ladyboy wants to be feminine in every way so why would she want to do those “rough sports” like weightlifting, rugby or even cycling ha ha.
However, Thai people have a limited tolerance for discussion or conjecture about issues outside of their country so I can’t be certain what others feel. A few activist types I know just follow the cracked doctrine they receive from the west until challenged and then in the face of little evidence to support that doctrine change their minds. That was the long answer Michael. The short answer if you will is to imagine Annie watching a trans-woman beat the living bejesus out of a girl in UFC and you will hear her say only one word, “stoopid”.
Interesting writeup which, of course, generates a great deal of discussion on both sides. Personally, there should be male, female and transgender categories for the competitions though the latter category won’t have that many competitors.