We stand in solidarity with JayCee Cooper and all transgender powerlifting athletes who deserve full access to the sport they love. The current International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and USA Powerlifting (USAPL) policies prohibiting all female transgender powerlifters and male transgender athletes using testosterone from competition are not only based on a flawed understanding of competitive advantage, but are also discriminatory and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism, which the IPF has adopted, and Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits any form of discrimination in sport. Under the IOC Consensus, female transgender athletes who meet the specified criteria are eligible to compete, yet JayCee Cooper was told that any and all female transgender athletes are ineligible.
Access to sport is a human right. When LGBTQ+ people are systematically excluded from sport, they are denied not only an essential component of their physical, mental and emotional well-being, but also access to a community and the social support therein.
There are many models of strength-based sports which actively include and celebrate trans athletes, including Crossfit. We strongly encourage IPF and USAPL to reconsider their position, utilize the expertise from thought-leaders who have successfully implemented trans-inclusive policies, and work to ensure that the powerlifting community is truly inclusive and representative. We are all stronger when we stand together.