It’s been 3 years since I first tried a powerlifting meet and what started as a “let’s try something new” has become trying to see how far I can push myself. I’m stronger now in many ways beyond just muscular feats than I was in 2016.
In 2019, I turn 40 which puts me in the Master’s category of powerlifting and when I realized USAPL Raw Nationals would be in Chicago (actually Lombard, IL) and I could compete at a VERY high level at home I got excited ... my excitement deflated a week after my first USAPL meet in January where I qualified for Raw Nationals in Masters 72kg when the USAPL announced they wouldn’t adopt the IOC & IPF rules on inclusion of transgender athletes. Their ban on transgender athletes opposes the one thing I love about most about powerlifting, inclusion.
Some will say the ban is to protect, cis-gender competitors because of an unfair advantage but if the IOC standards are followed RESEARCH shows there isn’t an advantage. And if there are men going through gender-altering procedures just so they can have world records in powerlifting, they can have them .... I really don’t think people would go that far for a world record. I am hopeful that the USAPL will reverse this ban, as USA Weightlifiting and CrossFit both have inclusive policies in line with the IOC.
I have decided to participate in Pull for Pride this year to help support LGBTQIA+ youth. Funds raised will go to Project Fierce Chicago which seeks to “ to create affirming transitional housing for LGTBQIA+ youth in Chicago that is responsive to the needs of young people. By mobilizing our communities, we provide pathways to independence.”