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CrossFit to allow transgender competitors in 2019 events

Athletes can compete under the gender they identify with.

Chloie Jonsson is a transgender CrossFit athlete.
Chloie Jonsson’s Instagram

CrossFit will allow transgender competitors to compete in events in the gender class they identify with starting next year, CrossFit’s CEO announced this weekend.

“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.”

This is a major change for CrossFit, which was sued for $2.5 million in 2014 by Chloie Jonsson, a competitor who was outed as trans and then told she would have to compete as a man since that was the gender assigned to her at birth. In the four years since, CrossFit had stuck to its position, often using bigoted and ignorant language, until this weekend’s announcement.

Them, which broke the news about the new CrossFit policy, said Jonsson felt vindicated.

On Friday morning, ahead of Glassman’s official announcement, Jonsson was informed through the community that the policy would finally change. She says she cried tears of happiness and relief when she heard, and was “one hundred percent ecstatic.”

“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.”

Jonsson can’t speak about her lawsuit due to a settlement, but she does recall how painful it was to be “scrutinized from every angle,” and subject to transphobic comments, as a result of the attention around the case. ...

“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.”

Glassman spoke Friday at “Big Gay Happy Hour,” an event sponsored by LGBTQ+ CrossFit group OUTWOD, Them reported.

Earlier this year, CrossFit fired Russell Berger, the company’s Chief Knowledge Officer, after a series of homophobic tweets by him caused a firestorm of protest.