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The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)
SAN FRANCISCO - A transgender woman in Northern California has sued the company behind the popular CrossFit workouts for refusing to let her compete in the female division of its annual fitness competitions.
The lawsuit brought Thursday by Chloie Jonsson, 34, accuses CrossFit Inc. of violating her rights under a California law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Jonsson's complaint says she was born male but has been living as a woman since she was a teenager and underwent sex reassignment surgery eight years ago. The surgery, coupled with the female hormones she takes, satisfied the state's requirements for her to be recognized as female on her birth certificate and other official documents.
Her lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, said Jonsson, who works as a personal trainer and is an avid CrossFit practitioner, first spoke to company representatives about her background a year ago after a teammate learned that participants in the Reebok CrossFit Games were required to register according to their gender at birth.
"They said she has an advantage over other women because of the sex she was born with, and that is completely untrue, scientifically," McCoy said.
CrossFit's general counsel, Dale Saran, would not comment on the lawsuit, which seeks $2.5 million in damages.
CrossFit is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but its founder, Greg Glassman, launched it in Santa Cruz, Calif., in the late 1990s. The company has 7,000 affiliate gyms around the world where classes offer an intense, military-style mix of weight-lifting, core conditioning and cardio exercises, according to its website.