Compete Network Feature Stories

Crossfit Finally Clears Hurdles and Allows Transgender Athletes at Crossfit Games

Coming off the controversy over homophobic tweets from a former executive, Crossfit has been reevaluating their policies and approaches to the LGBTQ+ community. The most glaring had been their policies prohibiting transgender participation which was challenged by athlete Chloie Jonsson in 2014 when she attempted to enter the competition. She was bluntly told, using transphobic language, that she could not participate. Later, she was then told she could participate as a male (her gender assigned at birth) with even more transphobic language. Not cool Crossfit, not cool. So Jonsson sued Crossfit for $2.5 million when she was denied participation.

For reference, here is another article on why transgender athletes are more than eligible and capable of competing on equal footing in athletic events with their cisgender counterparts.

However, it appears that Crossfit has since changed its tune, with the help of Jonsson as well as OUTWOD which is an LGBTQ+ Crossfit Group. At OUTWOD’s “Big Gay Happy Hour” which Crossfit CEO attended, to make his announcement. Glassman stated…

“In the 2019 CrossFit competitive season, starting with the Open [a series of elimination events], transgender athletes are welcome to participate in the division with which they identify,” Glassman said in Madison, Wisconsin, where this year’s Reebok CrossFit Games are being held. “This is the right thing to do. CrossFit believes in the potential, capacity, and dignity of every athlete. We are proud of our LGBT community, including our transgender athletes, and we want you here with us.”

After learning the news, Jonsson was understandably excited and stated…

“It just feels now that what I did had a purpose,” says Jonsson. “That there’s some resolution, even though it’s many years later. It feels like a little bit of closure. I always loved CrossFit so much for how inclusive it felt,” Jonsson says. “So, when this all happened four years ago, it felt so divided. And now I’m hoping that it can all go back together again. I want it to feel like everyone is included, and everyone has the same opportunity.”

This is a step in the right direction toward building inclusivity and education of transgender athletes in sport. Let’s keep it going!

By Dirk Smith

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