By Ben Johnson
A transgender man is suing a strength competition for $2.5 million after CrossFit denied him the right to compete against women.
Chloie Jonnson, who was born male, wants to test his brawn against female athletes in the CrossFit Games, a grueling series of contests designed to find the world’s most fit competitors. When a female rival raised questions about Jonnson being considered a woman, CrossFit said he must compete as a man.
Jonnson had a sex-change operation in 2006 and is legally recognized in the state of California as a woman. Incensed, he filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the fitness company.
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CrossFit said that it is happy to do its part to assure that transgender competitors are “welcomed with open arms in this community, but what we will not waver from is our commitment to ensure the fairness of the competition.”
“We have simply ruled that based upon [Chloie] being born as a male, [he] will need to compete in the Men’s Division,” the company replied. “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.”
Chloie says that view violates California’s anti-discrimination laws. The company says Jonnson’s assertion violates common sense.
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