PRESS RELEASE: “LGBT Powerlifting Union Issues Response To The Introduction of a MX Division by USA Powerlifting”.

The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) Powerlifting Union have today issued a response to the recent announcement by USA Powerlifting (USAPL) regarding their decision to introduce a new MX Division for athletes of all genders. (see their enclosed press release). Their new division means that Trans, Intersex and Non Binary folks will be welcome to compete at their local, state and regional level championships right across the United States, with an opportunity to qualify for their national championships in 2022.

https://www.usapowerlifting.com/usa-powerlifting-launches-four-new-lifting-categories-in-2021/

The LGBT Powerlifting Union acknowledge any attempt by mainstream organisations to make Powerlifting and Strength sports more welcoming and accessible for LGBT+ athletes and encourages continued consultation and dialogue over these matters. We are encouraged to see that USA Powerlifting have now started to consider Transgender, Non Binary and Intersex athletes, but are disappointed that they have chosen to miss an opportunity to engage with the IOC Guidance over Trans participation.

The LGBT Powerlifting Union are pleased to be in communication and dialogue with USA Powerlifting over LGBT+ issues and will continue to represent all sections of the LGBT+ community within any further dialogue and discussions with USA Powerlifting and other mainstream federations. We are today launching our International LGBT+ Powerlifting Directory with thirty seven different “routes to platform” for LGBT+ athletes to participate in Powerlifting, showing the amount of progress that has made on LGBT+ issues over the last four years.

“LGBT International Powerlifting Championships – MX Category” 

We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the details of our own MX Category*, which was the first of its kind when it was launched in 2018. The LGBT International Powerlifting Championships* (LGBT IPC) MX Category and competition rules exceed the International Olympic Committee guidance for Trans athletes by a significant margin. Trans, non-binary and intersex athletes can participate in the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships, from the first day they make any decision regarding their gender, in gender neutral weight classes”.

LGBT IPC welcomes Trans men or Trans women who have decided to transition– who will be able to participate within either Male, Female or within Mx Category. The optional third gender Mx Category is also for people who do not identify as one or the other, such as Non Binary or Intersex. LGBT IPC were the first sports event in the world to introduce a third gender Mx Category. Athletes are able to choose to lift as male, female, or MX in the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships from the moment they make their decision.

“Increased Opportunities For LGBT+ Powerlifters Worldwide – LGBT Powerlifting Union Launch International LGBT+ Powerlifting Directory”

The LGBT Powerlifting Union would like to highlight there are now at least thirty seven federations, national affiliates, championships and clubs that have adopted LGBT+ friendly policies in the last four years (See Our International Directory http://lgbtpowerlifting.org/?page_id=628). Some of these have adopted variations of the IOC Guidance* for Trans participation, whilst others have introduced variations of MX Category. Many have also introduced codes of conduct safeguarding LGBT+ athletes from abuse, both inside competition venues and over social media.

We would also like to highlight that the Gay Games* in 2022 will for the first time offer Trans, Non Binary and Intersex athletes the option of participating in Powerlifting in an MX Category. This will be the first time in Gay Games history that any sport has adopted an optional third gender category, welcoming all LGBT+ athletes. These are all positive steps forward for all LGBT+ athletes and we welcome continued and constructive dialogue with all mainstream Powerlifting Federations over LGBT+ issues.

The LGBT IPC does not have any qualification standards and is open to athletes regardless of sexuality, gender, race, religion or ability. The LGBT Powerlifting Union have recently become full members of the Federation of Gay Games and promote the ideal of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best. The registration for LGBT IPC 2021 is now open and further details can be found at our website www.lgbtpowerlifting.org  and our Facebook Page search “LGBT International Powerlifting Championships”.

Media & Press Enquiries should be directed to Chris Morgan Co-president LGBT Powerlifting Union email chunky@chunkymuscle.com

Editors Notes:

  • The LGBT Powerlifting Union is a global “Union” of athletes elected from the registered athletes and participants of the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships. The current officials of LGBTPU are from diverse backgrounds reflecting all parts of the LGBT+ community. Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual ,Transgender, Non Binary, Cis Male and Cis Female. Our adoption of the + symbol indicates we are open to all regardless of genders or sexuality, including those who identify as Trans, Non Binary, Intersex, Queer, Cis Male, Cis Female and Gender Fluid. (Please refer to note three below). It also underlines our commitment to our relationships with our mainstream and straight partners, without whom so much progress would not have been made over LGBT+ Issues during this last four years.
  • LGBT IPC 2021 weekend has a full program of activities including a Technical Briefing (Friday 16th July), Competition (Saturday 17th July), Congress (Sunday 18th July) and Closing Party (Sunday 19th  July). Visit www.lgbtpowerlifting.org for more details. LGBT IPC has registered athletes from Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Sweden, United States of America and Great Britain. We welcome Trans men and Trans women who have decided to transition– who will be able to participate within either Male, Female or within Mx Category. The third gender (optional) Mx Category is also for people who do not identify as one or the other, such as Non Binary or Intersex. The new Mx Category was introduced for the 2018 and 2019 events and the policy continues for our 2021 event.
  • MX category is also an all-inclusive category for males, females, agender, aporagender, bigender, butch, cisgender, demigender, femme, non-binary, gender neutral, gender queer, gender fluid, transsexual, intergender, polygender and any other gender expression. At this time over 70 different forms of gender identity have been identified, Facebook users can choose from 50 differing gender identities. The LGBT IPC MX category uniquely has 14 gender neutral weight classes, which were specially created by merging male and female weight classes.
  • Award Winning Project – In 2019 the LGBT Powerlifting Union and LGBT International Powerlifting Championships were awarded the most “Innovative Project Award” at the Out For Sports 21st Annual Awards, hosted at the London Mayor’s Office. This awards was for their optional MX Category, where Trans, Non Binary and Intersex participants are able to choose their gender category (M, F or MX) from day one of their transition. The aim is to empower, encourage and inspire young LGBT+ athletes, by providing a safe space within strength sports for new athletes to develop.
  • IOC Guidance  – The LGBT IPC views the IOC Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism as the gold standard for inclusion. This guidance was formulated by over 16 experts in sports medicine and physiology by an organisation that is respected worldwide for its goals of achieve fair play and sporting excellence. A number of powerlifting federations have based their gender inclusive rules around the IOC guidance, where a trans female athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition. Those who transition from male to female are free to compete in the male category without restriction.
  • Gay Games Powerlifting  – The sport of Powerlifting was part of the program of Gay Games in nine Gay Games from 1982 San Francisco through to Gay Games 2014 in Cleveland Ohio. It was also part of the World Outgames in Montreal in 2006. Bench Press Single Event was part of the Eurogames in Munich in 2004. Powerlifting was not included in Gay Games Paris 2018 www.paris2018.com but will be returning in Hong Kong in 2022. www.gghk2022.com where an optional MX Category will be included for the first time. The Federation of Gay Games website can be found at www.gaygames.org.

Key People – Biographies

Chris Morgan: Male Co-President, LGBT Powerlifting Union

Chris has been one of the World’s leading openly gay athletes since starting his Powerlifting career at the Gay Games in 1998.

During his twenty year career he has represented England and Great Britain a total of twenty six times, where he has taken a total of twenty eight international medals. He has been World Champion ten times, European Champion five times, British Champion eighteen times and has won six Gay Games gold medals. In 2010 and 2011 he was the overall Best Lifter at the British Deadlift Championships and in 2011 was the overall Best Lifter at the European Deadlift Championships. He is the holder of several British and World records in the Deadlift.

Chris is constantly working for the organisation that gave him confidence to be an openly gay athlete, as a global ambassador. His role for the Federation of Gay Games is to inspire and motivate young LGBT+ athletes worldwide.  In 2018 Chris was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from LGBT+ Powerlifters globally for his dedication and commitment towards inclusion and equality with the sport of Powerlifting.

Charlotte Wareing: Female Co-President, LGBT Powerlifting Union

Charlotte has been powerlifting for six years, she has won five master’s European titles and seven World titles.  

She holds 41 World Records in both raw and equipped lifting.  She has twice achieved the overall best lifter at European and World level.  Charlotte was the recipient of  the LGBT IPC “Spirit Award” at the first LGBT IPC Championships for her courage and commitment to the LGBT+ Community, which she views as one of the highlights of her career.  

Charlotte is keen to grow the sport of powerlifting and works hard to introduce the sport to novice lifters. 

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