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CrossFit in the Crosshair of Transgender Chloie Jonsson

Updated on March 10, 2014
Chloie working out
Chloie working out

I suppose it was bound to happen, legally speaking. With society changing norms rapidly, whether it is transgenders or technology, the legal system is faced with some odd cases to settle.

Take Chloie Jonsson. 34. She was a he for most of her life, even in high school. Even though he always wanted to be a she, numerous factors prevented it from making the change. Forget about whether she actually looks like a female, what this $2.5 million dollar case is about in California is a he turned into a she really that (or vice versa). Is it a case of discrimination against transgender people or as CrossFit's lawyer calls it, protecting the competition.

You see, the dilemma for any transgender is that a man that turns into a woman externally (boobs, no penis) still has the muscle strength and stamina of a man. So, when she wanted to compete in a company sponsored weight lifting competition, she registered as a female to compete with other females. Crossfit said no. They feel that she is still very a he in strength and stamina. This would create unfairness to those "real" women also in the competition. her lawsuit is based on discrimination against a transgender. Just because you add or remove external traits of a man or woman does nothing about the rest of their body.

Chloie became a woman at age 26. CrossFit knew about the transformation and welcomed her membership etc. It is the competition that pose the legal problem. When she registered, the rules required her to register what sex she was at birth-a male. CrossFit feels that her genetic makeup is still male, which includes physical aspects in strength. There is a woman's competition and man's competition. The court must decide where this transgender fits in as to competition, as it could make a difference. More lawsuits from "real" women could occur claiming unfairness because Chloie still has a man's strength. CrossFit maintains that Jonsson was born as a male, so she should compete in the men's division, not the woman's.

According to some, hormone replacement therapy for transgender women includes anti-androgen therapy, which nullifies the effects of testosterone to reduce the masculine features of the body. Therapies can also consist of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone to feminize the body. But, there are some very masculine type females also, muscle bound. One could say it they should be put in the male competition because it would unfair to other women.

A sex change can cost up to $50,000 and years of hormone injections. If Chloie wins, the millions should take care of it. So, does Ms. Jonsson need 2.5 million dollars for the "harm" of not being put into the category of her choosing - and having that characterized as a "civil right" violation - OR choosing "female" and having other female athlete's complain that they have to compete against someone who had the benefit of growing up with a cascade of hormonal advantages well into adulthood?

There are valid arguments on both sides.


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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      Until they can do a sex transformation at the DNA/genetic level, she still has male genetic factors to include male strength and stamina.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      AH.... Ok.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      No, he did have a sex change.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts. If steroids and other artificial enhancements are not allowed for competitions, does something like this fall into the same category?

      One thing I'm unclear on: I believe you are saying Chloie is transgendered but hasn't had a sex change operation. Would a sex change operation have a different impact on body strength?