Burpees for Chloe
March 7, 2014 by Jay Brown, Director of Foundation Program Strategies
Image source: Jönsson's Facebook page
In case you missed out on your morning dose of outrage, a transgender woman has been banned from competing in the women’s division at the CrossFit Games, an annual competition to determine the fittest man and woman.
Despite the fact she’d be qualified to be an Olympic athlete, CrossFit has banned a transgender woman from competing at the CrossFit Games, an annual competition to determine the fittest man and woman.
In a story first reported by TMZ, Chloie Jönsson, a personal trainer from Los Gatos, Calif., is suing the company for discrimination in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
Further underscoring a lack of basic decency, in a response to Chloie’s lawyer CrossFit wrote: “that you are either intentionally ignoring or missed in high school.”
I haven’t looked at all the details, but I’m willing to bet that the IOC, the USA Track & Field and the U.S. Soccer Federation – all which would permit Chloie to compete – didn’t let 8-year-olds write their policies. (Actually, that’s not exactly fair to the 8-year-olds I know.)
Now, I’ve had conversations with many well-intentioned folks about the realities of transition for transgender people like myself. I totally understand how people can be confused. But that’s why we ask questions before we make policies. And we work with experts who have real, lived experiences in what we’re seeking to answer.
There are entire organizations – like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health – that could have guided them in their decision-making.
There’s simply no excuse for CrossFit’s actions. Chloe, I’m more of a distance runner than a CrossFitter, but today I’m doing some burpees in your honor.
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