A transgender woman is suing CrossFit after she was banned from competing as a woman at the CrossFit Games. Personal trainer Chloie Jönsson is seeking $2.5 million in damages, charging discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Santa Cruz, California.
Jönsson says that since she is legally recognized by California as a woman, after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery in 2006, she should be allowed to compete in the games. CrossFit doesn’t exactly see it that way.
CrossFit argues that since Jönsson was born as a male, she would have an unfair advantage over her competition.
“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,” a CrossFit lawyer said in a letter obtained by CNN.
Jönsson lawyer disagrees: “[Jönsson] doesn’t have an advantage over other women. She’s been on estrogen for such a long time.”
Research has proven that transgender people do not have any advantage in athletic competition since the genetic advantage is based on testosterone levels, which diminishes after a year of estrogen therapy. This research is what lead to the Olympics adopting policies on how trans athletes can qualify for the team they identify with:
- They must have had gender reassignment surgery.
- They must have legal recognition of their assigned gender.
- They must have at least two years of hormone therapy.
In a press release statement, Jönsson said: “If I am going to be forced to out myself, I want it to be for the good for all transgendered people and athletes — not because of a company’s discriminatory policies.”