Early this year transgender female powerlifter Jaycee Cooper attempted to join USA Powerlifting but due to their transgender policy, her efforts were in vain as the policy will uphold despite Cooper’s proposal for a reversal of the ban.
Now, the decision to keep the ban in place came after an overwhelming ratio of votes in favor of the opposition to overrule the policy. The National Board of Governors for the USA Powerlifting organization voted 46 to 4 (One abstention) in Lombard Illinois, with the former convincingly enough to uphold the transgender ruling put in place.
But Jaycee Cooper who operates “Pull for Pride” with powerlifter Breanna Diaz has decided to not give up the fight for their inclusion in powerlifting competition as they wrote the following in an Instagram post after news that there’d be no repeal…
“Women’s Strength Coalition and Pull for Pride will not stop pushing for a trans affirming and inclusive policy until all are welcome on the platform”.
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Today, USA Powerlifting (USAPL) voted down, 4 to 46 with one abstention, the Transgender Participation Policy Proposal. The proposal would have repealed the current ban and replaced it with a trans inclusive and affirming policy, allowing trans athletes to compete consistent with their gender identity. The proposal amends USAPL’s non-discrimination provision to include gender identity, incorporates, in part, the 2015 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism, provides guidelines for trans inclusion, and defines key terms. From the beginning of the National Governing Board (NGB) meeting, USAPL leadership made clear their gross misunderstanding of transgender people, healthcare, and well-being. Without any prior notification to the policy drafter and presenters, USAPL allowed Dr. Kristopher Hunt, USAPL’s TUE Committee Chair, to present a powerpoint laced with anti-transgender rhetoric. Rather than focus on transgender particiption in sports, Dr. Hunt compared cisgender men to cisgender women, dead named Mary Gregory, and mentioned that he and Larry Maile, USAPL President, have been working with Fair Play for Women, a U.K. based anti-transgender organization, to develop a transgender policy. At no time were the results or conclusions of the women’s-only survey sent out by Priscilla Ribic, USAPL Executive Director, mentioned. JayCee Cooper and Rebecca Fox were provided an opportunity to introduce and answer questions related to the proposed policy. While some questions were thoughtful, many were statements opposing transgender inclusion without reason. USAPL has continuously operated in bad faith throughout this process. While we appreciate the offer by Maile to create and include JayCee Cooper on an ad hoc inclusion committee, we question the intention and authenticity behind the offer. We look forward to the coming details. Our proposed policy may not have passed today, but our fight for trans inclusion is not over. Women’s Strength Coalition and Pull for Pride will not stop pushing for a trans affirming and inclusive policy until all are welcome on the platform. #sharetheplatform
Then, of the most recent news, female transgender athlete Mary Gregory broke multiple women’s records last month but was stripped of her accolades due to being a transgender athlete who did not identify as such before the competition.
The 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation President Paul Bossi made a statement addressing the situation…
“It was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a Transgender female. “Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification.”
“The conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.
Gregory was met with a lot of backlash following the incident, and even from female Olympic medalists Sharron Davis and Kelly Holmes who spoke out on Twitter, even calling the situation a bloody joke…
Its a bloody joke and all getting ready for biological women to boycott certain events.Have a trans category if need be but even better a trans games.Otherwise i’m starting to worry about the backlash and abuse that the trans community will get from spectators. It will happen!
— Kelly Holmes (@damekellyholmes) April 28, 2019
But, many others who are opposed to transgender participation have elaborated in defense of USA Powerlifting; that it is a drug-tested organization so the compounds used for the transition would be illegal.
And a male-born athlete will always have the biological advantage over a female regarding muscle mass, bone density, and connective tissue; which remains regardless of androgen reducing compounds.
The USA Powerlifting transgender policy states the following in regards to male to female athletes…
“The second area involves the participation of male to female competitors. Through analysis the impact of maturation in the presence naturally occurring androgens as the level necessary for male development, significant advantages are had, including but not limited to increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue. These advantages are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting”.
Now, as of right now the ruling will stand and transgender athletes are not allowed participation in USA Powerlifting but it seems that despite the obvious and overwhelming opposition, they’re not calling it quits just yet.
But, taking into consideration the obvious biological differences between both genders, it’s likely they will not be granted inclusion into competition anytime soon, if ever.