A transgender woman filed lawsuit against CrossFit on Thursday, claiming that the company rejected her from competing in the women's division because of her gender at birth.
Chloie Jonsson had sex reassignment surgery in 2006 and is legally a woman, according to the State of California. She's also participated in female hormone therapy, which cancels out testosterone's effect on the body. But CrossFit denied her the ability to compete with other women because she was born a man. In response, Jonsson filed a civil complaint in Santa Cruz Superior Court against the company seeking $2.5 million in damages. The suit also accuses CrossFit of discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition.
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CrossFit maintains that Jonsson was born as a male, so she should compete in the men's division, according to a letter from the company's lawyer to Jonsson's attorney. It also stated that the company had an "obligation to protect the 'rights' of all competitors and the competition itself."
"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," according to the letter from CrossFit's lawyer sent in October.
According to Jonsson's complaint, she had kept her identity as a transgender woman a secret until CrossFit's ruling caused her to out herself. She believes this precedent would cause all transgender CrossFit athletes to out themselves for competition, despite their wishes.
"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," Jonsson said in a statement.