JayCee Cooper, a proud trans woman, along with other trans women applicants were denied the chance to compete at this year’s USA Powerlifting events. No one was exempted from the ban, even those who have won a state championship like Cooper.
Cooper received this upsetting news from Kristopher Hunt, USAPL Therapeutic Use Exemptions Committee via email. According to Hunt, “Male-to-female transgenders are not allowed to compete as female in their static strength sports as it is a direct competitive advantage.”
This direct competitive advantage point of view from Hunt stems from the fact that powerlifters such as Cooper are born male at birth, making them more likely to succeed due to higher bone mineral density and more muscle mass compared to powerlifter applicants who are natural-born women.
USA Powerlifting issued an additional statement that their organization is not fit and eligible for every athlete and for every medical condition or situation.
This ban on transgenders is definitely off-putting, it’s also the reason why Cooper and the rest of male-female transgender powerlifters in the community are looking for other organizations to compete in like USPA’s untested division (U.S. Powerlifting Association).
Despite the transgender ban, Cooper hasn’t lost hope that she will be allowed to compete at USA Powerlifting events one day like other female powerlifters.