Transgender Woman's Suit: Let Me Compete as Female

CrossFit says birth sex offers 'physical advantage'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2014 5:27 PM CST
Transgender Woman's Suit: Let Me Compete as Female
Chloie Jonsson is suing CrossFit over her competition division.   (Visionhaus for Reebok CrossFit via AP Images)

A transgender woman in California has sued the company behind the popular CrossFit workouts for refusing to let her compete in the female division of its annual fitness competitions. The $2.5 million lawsuit by Chloie Jonsson, 34, accuses CrossFit Inc. of violating her rights under a California law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Jonsson's complaint says she was born male but has been living as a woman since she was a teenager and underwent sex reassignment surgery eight years ago; she has satisfied the state's requirements for her to be recognized as female.

In a letter to Jonsson's attorney, a company lawyer holds that "the fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has a genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women." But Jonsson's lawyer says a perceived advantage "is completely untrue, scientifically." He notes that the International Olympic Committee allows athletes who have undergone surgery, taken hormones, and secured legal recognition to compete in the category that corresponds to their affirmed gender. (Read more transgender stories.)

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