Mary Gregory, a powerlifter born male who is transitioning to female, had competed at the 100% Raw Weightlifting Federation competition in Zion Crossroads, Virginia on April 27 and smashed several records. But four days later, RAW Powerlifting Federation—the same organization she thanked after winning—stripped Gregory of her titles.
In a statement to the media on May 1, federation president Paul Bossi said, “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. On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made is that the correct physiological classification is male.”
Gregory told Outsports that she informed the organization that she was a transgender transitioning to a female and was received warmly. “He seemed really supportive of me and so the rest of the staff there,” said Gregory, about the tournament official.
“They started cheering me on, everybody seemed really happy when I broke the records,” she said. “People in the audience were coming up and slapping me on the back and congratulating me and shaking my hand.”
Gregory ruled the tournament and broke the federation’s masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world deadlift record, and masters world total record. But this title, “World record,” is a misnomer, she said, because it only counts for that particular federation. Still, she was quite proud of it.
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As promised here is the full meet recap- what a day yesterday! One my best meets ever, not because of the records but because I was prepared, had a plan and flawlessly executed it! The records were just icing on the cake! – Friday night weighed in super light at 179.3lbs, 81.3kg! Over a kg under the class limit. – Squats, opener 130kg good lift. Opened a bit lighter than planned, was having issues with depth. Wanted to make sure I buried this one. 2nd attempt 138kg good lift. Chipped the VA State masters record here. Based on feels I knew I didn’t have much left for thirds. 3rd attempt 142.5kg/ 314.2lbs good lift. Chipped the world masters record here. It felt much harder than it looked, I really don’t think much more was there. – Bench, opener 100kg good lift. This was a world masters record. Couldn’t get set up right and the pins we’re a bit low. This was alot harder than I expected. 2nd attempt 102.5kg good lift. Broke my own record, took a hand off. This one felt the best out all three bench attempts. 3rd 105.5kg/ 232.6lbs good lift. Chipped the world open bench record. Got a fast press command luckily, this one again felt harder than it looked. Was struggling with tightness here, really don’t think I had much left here as well. – DL opener 177.5kg good lift and world masters total record. This felt harder than I expected so I took a smaller jump for my 2nd. 2nd attempt 185kg good lift, world masters dl record. This felt really good. Starting to get in the groove. 3rd attempt 192.5kg/ 424.4lbs good lift and a 2.5kg PR! This didn’t feel much different than 185kg but I didn’t want to get greedy- the plan was 9 for 9 and I had a conservative PR. Felt great to end the strong! – Again, awesome day! Totaled 440.5kg/ 971.1lbs with a 399.5wilks. Thanks again to the all people who supported me, helped me, and cheered me on! 27 white lights, excited to get back too training and prepping for the next meet! – @savvysavit #transisbeautiful#sharetheplatform#powerliftingwomen#upliftandliftheavy#richmondbalance#morefemalestrength#exodusstrength#lgbtqsports#sumoischeating#deadlifts#benching#squats#bemoreawesome
However, executives of the USA Powerlifting Federation, another, more widely recognized federation, met in Illinois on Thursday, May 7, to discuss their transgender policies and voted 46 to 4 (one abstention) to keep their transgender participation policy that excludes transitioning athletes from contesting against athletes that match their “gender identity.”
The board clarified the judgment, saying: “Men naturally have a larger bone structure, higher bone density, stronger connective tissue and higher muscle density than women,” Dailymail reported. It continued, “These traits, even with reduced levels of testosterone do not go away. While MTF (male-to-female) may be weaker and less muscle than they once were, the biological benefits given them at birth still remain over than of a female.”
“We commend USA Powerlifting in their decision to preserve women’s sports,” said a statement from Beth Stelzer, a weightlifter herself and founder of the Save Women’s Sports organization. It continued: “Some strong women and men dug in their heels in defense of the truth. It is not fair to force women to compete with men. USAPL proved it honors and values women in this sport. We won’t forget it. I encourage women and men who support this decision to let the leadership know.”
Author and journalist Neil Munro said on Twitter: “Another weightlifting association preserves distinct female and male competitions, so rejecting transgender demands. A useful win against the progressives’ campaign to deny women the right to their own civic groups.”
Another weightlifting association preserves distinct female and male competitions, so rejecting transgender demands. A useful win against the progressives’ campaign to deny women the right to their own civic groups. https://t.co/CqbixWIjXb
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 10, 2019
On a national level, most Democrats endorse the Equality Act, which would require sports clubs to treat people according to their “gender identity.” Rep. Joe Kennedy, head of the transgender caucus, told Breitbart News that sports competitions should be for “human beings,” not for men or women, thus paving the way for the equality of gender and the inequality of competitive chances.