Metro Weekly

CrossFit will allow transgender athletes to compete in 2019 competitive season

Trans athletes were previously restricted by registration forms that only recognized assigned sex at birth

Photo: Josefina Casals / Flickr

Transgender athletes will finally be allowed to compete in CrossFit’s competitive season, the fitness organization has announced.

Starting in 2019, registration forms will recognize CrossFitters according to gender identity, not their assigned sex at birth, them.us reports.

“In the 2019 CrossFit competitive season, starting with the Open, transgender athletes are welcome to participate in the division with which they identify,” CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman said. “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.”

Glassman made the announcement at “Big Gay Happy Hour,” an event at the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games organized by OUTWOD, a group for LGBTQ CrossFitters.

Alyssa Royce, a CrossFit affiliate and board member of nonprofit the Out Foundation, worked with CrossFit to enact the new policy change.

“I think it’s important to realize that CrossFit is the largest fitness brand in the world,” Royce said, “and where we go, others — we hope — will follow.”

Will Lanier, executive director of Out Foundation, which works to support and ensure LGBTQ access to health and wellness through fitness, called the new policy “magical” and said that CrossFit had “taken the biggest step towards full inclusion.”

He added: “While our work may never be done, we are one giant step closer.”

The move comes two months after CrossFit fired an executive who suggested that celebrating Pride was a “sin.”

In June, trainers at CrossFit Infiltrate in Indianapolis developed a workout to celebrate Indy Pride, but were shut down by the gym’s owners, who said that the event went against God’s plan for health.

Russell Berger, who called himself CrossFit’s Chief Knowledge Officer but was described by the company as a legal researcher, praised the bigotry in now-deleted tweets, calling LGBTQ Pride a “sin” and encouraging the owners for “standing by their convictions.”

Berger was placed on administrative leave and then eventually fired from the company.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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