The LGBT Powerlifting Union has said it is “encouraged” by the decision of USA Powerlifting (USAPL) to introduce an MX Division for athletes of all genders, but “disappointed” it has “chosen to miss an opportunity to engage with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Guidance over trans participation”.
The new division means trans and non-binary athletes will be welcome to compete at local, state and regional level championships across the US, with an opportunity for them to reach their national championships in 2022.
The LGBT Powerlifting Union said it acknowledges “any attempt by mainstream organisations to make powerlifting and strength sports more welcoming and accessible for LGBTQ+ athletes and encourages continued consultation and dialogue over these matters”.
In a press release responding to the USAPL announcement it said: “We are encouraged to see that USA Powerlifting have now started to consider transgender, non-binary athletes and intersex athletes, but are disappointed that they have chosen to miss an opportunity to engage with the IOC Guidance over Trans participation,” which it regards as the “gold standard” for inclusion.
It also highlights the details of its 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 IOC 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.”
It says: “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 was 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.”
The LGBT Powerlifting Union has also launched an International LGBT+ Powerlifting Directory, highlighting that there are now at least 37 federations, national affiliates, championships and clubs that have adopted LGBT+ friendly policies in the last four years.