Transgender, what is fair?

by Cameron Griffin

transgender symbol

First I’d like to dispel any arguments in which people disagree with a transgender athlete competing in a competition involving physical ability are bigots. Arguing such a point proves a political or social bias for an agenda not related to the competition. In the recent months you may have heard the name Chloie Jönsson mentioned once or twice, especially within the CrossFit community. Chloie is a CrossFit athlete and male to female transgender who has recently stirred up a controversy in the world of CrossFit. Chloie has filed a 2.5 million dollar suit against the privately owned company stating the CrossFit Games barred her from competing as a female. Chloie states that the CrossFit Games have violated her civil rights by denying her eligibility to compete in the women’s division because of her male born status. Chloie Jönsson has gone from a CrossFit competitor to an advocate for transgender rights in a matter of months stating that she is suing the franchise for the future rights of all transgender’s. By all means I believe that Chloie Jönsson has the right to self-identify and live as a female but I do believe there is a difference between having these rights and whether or not there is fairness in competing against female born athletes in a sanctioned event.

The definition of fair competition from Merriam-Webster is:
“competition reasonable in view of the interests of those competing and the public and not involving practices condemned by law as inimical to the public interest”

I would like to point out the word “inimical” in the above definition. “Inmicial” is defined as unfriendly or otherwise hostile, which is exactly what Chloie has become in recent months. Raising a suit against CrossFit worth 2.5 million dollars is not only hostile but detrimental to the CrossFit Games by degrading athletes who earn nothing but respect for competing on their own dime the entire time. Chloie references the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when stating her accusations against the CrossFit Games, but each organization has right to govern their own sport. The MLB has different HGH testing rules than the NFL, and the NCAA differs with their transgender rules than the IOC, so why does CrossFit not have the right to refuse any competitor if the science is disputable and testing costly and ineffective?

Allowing science to rule is CrossFit’s mantra through Force*Distance/Time=Power. To be fair the science does show when a male to female transgender properly uses hormone therapy there is significant drops in testosterone (main component in muscle gain and retention), bone density, thinning of skin, and redistribution of body fat. All of the previous conditions lead to a decline in physical ability for any athlete. However hormone therapy does not change the bone shape or angles, lung capacity, or heart size.

Men and women have different angles between the quadriceps and knee. The ability for men to have better patellar tracking in athletic movements doesn’t diminish during hormonal therapy. In fact women are at greater risk for valgus knee positioning, increasing the risk of injury and a decrease of power generation. More physical advantages a man and a transgender male to female person will have are increased lung capacity, larger airways compared to height-matched women. Scientific findings suggest that gas exchange and ventilation will limit women’s ability during exercise. Regardless of hormone therapy a male will retain some of these advantages that can’t just be thrown aside because of legal differentiation.

The IOC does not have a cut and dry transgender policy. Like many have stated they still complete various types of tests that can disqualify athletes. It’s far more complicated with a multitude of testing and measurements which complete their evaluation. To this day no openly transgender athlete has competed in an Olympics event. Keelin Godset, a known female to male transgender athlete, had aspirations to compete in the Olympics for hammer throw. Keelin however sought not to abuse or intimidate other athletes and decided if he were to compete he would do so as the sex he was born as, female. Saldy Keelin was not fortunate enough to make it to the 2012 Olympics. None the less he was content to compete on a fair playing field with other female competitors with equal abilities. Another example of a transgender admitting to advantages is Jakabos Zsuzsanna openly admitting to being faster and stronger as a male to female athlete over other female competitors. So even other transgender athletes accept the fact of reality in which they were born, not what they relate to in the present.

With any drug manipulation there will always be a controversy of the effects. In no way can you expect modifications to be done chemically and not argue an advantage or disadvantage. That’s where the problem lies. There is a perception towards male to female and female to male athletes that has to be studied before being blindly accepted. There is lack of athletic data for male to female athletes in CrossFit and how they literally stack up against the median in the female community. While Chloie may be an above average athlete how you can prove that the advantages aren’t because of past training as a male? While another argument put forth is what if she goes against medical advice and decreases or goes off her hormone therapy thereby allowing her testosterone to increase allowing for greater advances during training, gaining an advantage over other women. Unlike the IOC, CrossFit has limited testing resources and in no way could they oversee an athlete using hormone affecting drugs constantly. It doesn’t matter whether Chloie has ever attempted abusing her therapy. I’d like to think she hasn’t cheated, but the opportunity is there for her and any other transgender athlete. This alone can be disqualifying in the Olympics but would remain untested because CrossFit doesn’t have the proper resources.

While the lawsuit is the largest issue for CrossFit, the long standing issue will be how CrossFit will be perceived. As I stated earlier Chloie Jönsson is seeking 2.5 million dollars, which is an uncalled for amount. How is her disputable right to compete in a private company’s event worth 2.5 million dollars? Since CrossFit is a private corporation chaired by Greg Glassman with thousands of independently owned and operated affiliates, with each owner and affiliate having differing business systems, style of coaching, and unique communities. With that alone CrossFit has the right not to even allow her into the competition, but instead they placed her in the category she was given at birth like everyone else is. To force yourself into a category of fitness and ruin other female born candidates is no less fair if you pose male type advantages. Anyone preaching tolerance is screaming it from a sanctimonious pedestal discounting many professionals’ opinions and factual proof of physiological differences. Regardless of desire to be a female, which is her right, Chloie Jönsson has to accept she was born physiologically a male and in such this gives her natural advantages over all women. If you want to preach acceptance you have to be honest with yourself first then expect the same from society.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 
Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

CrossFit Oakland shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Thursday is a Recovery Day.

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Less than 3 weeks until the "Fight Gone Bad" United for Youth event goes down at United Barbell! Make sure you register to reserve your space!

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Survey Results

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Kristy Parrish published the post How Do I Choose the Right Workout Program? on Tabata Times
Results outline the efficacy of a workout program. With a sound, objective foundation (i.e...
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Wednesday's WOD: TIER 1 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 7 Ball Slams + Burpee TIER 2 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 5 Wall Balls @ 20#/14# + Double-Unders TIER 3 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by Handstand Push-Ups * Part B has a 15-minute time cap. * For Part B, Tier 1 starts each round with 7 ball slams and increases the number of burpees each round by 1 rep; Tier 2 starts each round with 5 wall balls and increases the number of double-unders by 10 each round (starting at 10 in the first round).

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook Who's on top?

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Potrero Hill shared a link on Facebook

WOD- Wednesday, Oct 22 This FRIDAY! Paleo Potluck and Pumpkin Carving! Bring a dish and a pumpkin. 6-9pm No class or open gym this Saturday for the Scream Team competition! Find a partner (guy/guy and gal/gal) to compete with! 3 events, all level …

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
CrossFit Potrero Hill posted an article
Corey's Gym posted an article
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2

cfsausalito shared an image on Facebook

Congratulations to C/S athletes Galo Arias and Sharon Squire for completing the Warrior Dash over the weekend and to C/S athlete Alicia Asensio for running the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! We love seeing you all express your fitness in different competitive environments -- so proud of you!

CrossFit Modesto shared an image on Facebook

Happy Tuesday! We'd like to welcome Nestor to our community. You know the drill: if you see him, introduce yourself and say hello. Thanks for joining us, Nestor!

CrossFit Modesto posted on Facebook

ANNOUNCEMENTS -- PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IN YOUR CALENDARS! - CrossFit Modesto will be closed ALL DAY October 31st (Halloween) and November 1st for the Hock Hocheim Knife Seminar. - WODTOBERFEST takes place on October 29th at 5:30 PM and will be the *ONLY* class in the pm (NO 12pm or 4:30pm classes)

American River Crossfit shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Prehab/activation: SMR - rhomboids / low back Banded hip flexor stretch 2x10 hip thrusts 2x10 scap retraction on rings -then- 5 x 250m row sprints - rest 2 mins between attempts, post best and worst time -then- AMRAP in 12 minutes: 15 push-presses (75/55) 12 back rack in place walking lunges (75/55) 9 pull-ups

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Competitors Program Week 1, Day 2: 5x5 @ 75-80% weighted ring dip -alternating with- 5 attempts for max time in an L-sit -then- With a 15 minute running clock: Run 1200m* Followed by max rounds of: (1,2,3...) Hang Power Clean (175/120) (1,2,3...) Burpee over the box jump (24"/20") *do the long 800m course, then around the building twice -then- Every 30 seconds for 8 intervals: 1x20yd prowler sprint (176/108) or use a weight that allows you to sprint 20 yards in under 10 seconds. Then, rest 3 minutes and repeat once more.

CrossFit HEALDSBURG posted on Facebook

Competence speaks through confidence and it is easy to carry others along when you believe in yourself. - Mark Twight

CrossFit Bios shared a link on Facebook

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp is in full swing! We know who'll be ready for the snow!

CrossFit West Petaluma shared a link on Facebook

Good Ol’ Fashioned Strength Day

South Tahoe CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

Check out Derek getting low. Over 50lbs lost and an amazing gain in range of motion!

CrossFit Genesis posted an article
CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

The paleo challenge day 1. Can you guess who's paleo bank this is?

Jefferson State CrossFit posted on Facebook

Just watched Julie Noyes complete 3 touch and go power cleans with her previous max! -Stoots

CrossFit Anywhere shared an image on Facebook

Our #MCM goes to Blair and Rob as they prep to crush the competition at Iron October 2 this Saturday! Come out to cheer them, and our other competitors on at CrossFit Iron Mile in Natomas from 9-4!

CrossFit Feather River shared an image on Facebook

This Saturday the 25th is the Yuba Sutter United Way Spooktacular 5k/10k Run! Race starts at 9am and there will be prizes awarded for best costumes! Let's get out there and represent CFFR!!

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Even though it's only October, we are already thinking about Decking our Halls!!! Mark your calendars!!! STCF Christmas Party is slated for Friday, December 12! You will NOT want to miss this shindig!

CrossFit Valley View posted on Facebook

This week is a special one! Why you ask?! Well because Our Box owner, Jennifer Correia, the one that brought CrossFit to Los Banos, is clebrating her Birthday this Sunday the 26th and guess what 30 burpees are due! so jump on her ass to get them done and hey, why not have her step it up a bit and make it for time????

CrossFit Valley View shared an image on Facebook

Starting off the day right

CrossFit 530 posted on Facebook

CrossFit 530 is closing. Friday will be the last day of business. All billing has stopped and will be refunded on a prorated basis. We sincerely thank everyone for their contribution to our CrossFit community over the last several years and wish you all health and happiness.

mqprunty published the post Why I Compete on
I wasn't quite sure where to go with this article...I first started with – “Why YOU Should...
South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

#crossfit #stcf #mental #southtahoecrossfit #neverquit #mexturesapp

John Mariotti published the post 3 reasons you get hurt at CrossFit on
There is a huge amount of bad press about CrossFit hurting people. I hear about Doctors and...
CrossFit Genesis shared a link on Facebook

October 20, 2014 Workout of the Day #holdthebar #alivetribe #workout #roseville

CrossFit Folsom Lake shared an image on Facebook

Lateral box jumps? Yikes!! Switching it up a little today :-)

Auburn CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

ACF – October 20, 2014

Hilary Wiebe published the post 10 Things I've Picked Up in My First Year of CrossFit on
This past September was my one year CrossFit anniversary. I’m really excited for what lies ahead...
CrossFit Monterey posted on Facebook

Training 141020 Strength: Back Squat 3 @ 7, 3 @ 8, 3 @ 9, plus one down set (load drop) Conditioning – 4 Rounds for time: 400m Run 4 Deadlifts, 115#/75# 4 Power Cleans, 115#/75# 4 Push Press, 115#/75# 4 Front Squats, 115#/75# Post results to comments.

CrossFit Valley View shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Redding posted on Facebook

After meeting with the council we have decided to put the 6am Class on hold. The Mon-Wed-Fri 5a class is still alive and well. 6am'ers gather your peeps and lets get this going again!

arielyve published the post All You Need to Know on Preventing Cancers on
Everyone has cancer cells in their body and these cells never get caught in normal tests until...
CrossFit 38 Degrees North shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit translates to all aspects of life, hopefully it influenced these guys aim over the weekend. Here is four of our 38 North boys on a camo heavy bonding trip into the wild. And the WOD for tomorrow is.......... "The CrossFit Total" 15 Min to find 1RM Back Squats -3 attempts 15 Min to find 1RM Press-3 attempts 15 Min to Find 1RM Deadlift- 3 attempts add highest rep from each movement together to find total

CrossFit Feather River shared a link on Facebook

Workout of the Day for Monday October 20th, 2014

CrossFit CSA posted on Facebook

In teams of two, with only one teammate working at a time, perform the following within 28 minutes: 6 x 100 Meter Row (Each partner rows 100m AND resets it to Zero) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24"/20") 10 Rds of Cindy (5 pull-ups-10pushups-15 squats) 6 x 100 Meter Sprint Run (50m down and back, then partner goes) 10 Rds of Cindy (advanced do Chest to bars) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs MAX Double Unders Score is number of double unders you complete. It will be very difficult for most teams to even make it to the double unders. *for the run sprints, instructor will set up cones outside 50m apart, where each teammate will run down and then return and tag their partner. ** advanced player please perform chest to bar pull-ups

CrossFit 580 posted on Facebook

Save the date! Saturday November 1, wear your Halloween costumes for the team WOD!

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Sam getting one of his 165lb thrusters. #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #affiliatecup #thrusters

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Was that my last Burpee? #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #burpee #checkwithyourjudge #teamfitaid…

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV