Transgender Woman Sues Crossfit

Company would not allow Chloie Jonsson to compete in a women's only division of annual competition.
3:00 | 03/10/14

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Transcript for Transgender Woman Sues Crossfit
This is a special room. Gone down -- new Yorker this ABC news digital special report a transgender athletes 34 year old Chloe Johnson. Is suing cross it after the company refused to allow -- to compete in a winners only division of their annual fitness competition. Cross it has said in response in a letter to miss Johnson's lawyer that quote. A male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedures still has a genetic make up that confers a physical and physiological advantage. Over -- ms. Johnson had a sex reassignment surgery 2006 has undergone female hormone therapy and is. By law in the state of California where the competition takes place. A woman so now is ABC news digital exclusive interview -- Johnson along with a lawyer Joaquin McCoy -- -- -- thank you guys -- from both being with us today. Declare -- start with you when did you begin -- across it aptly. -- start and went -- my third year. Nothing wrong and anti do you train a little or are you a traitor as well. I -- a -- a personal attack coach. It's so have you been competing it was is going to be your first competition. -- banks compete and local competitions and I did the cross -- open last year. OK so how did you find out that you're for that you wouldn't be allowed to take part in this year's competition. -- may have mine last year's sent an anonymous email. I'm asking what the rules learned and we got there response saying that all athletes must register. And can key under the gender they were born. Head the issue -- something that you brought up before or that you thought might be an issue. I didn't really think it was going to be an issue but we were just cannot cover our -- so she -- -- now. -- and -- kind of sparked the whole thing. I -- case of the so this is -- on that was going behind -- backer that this is an honest with try to find out exactly what the guidelines work according to crossed it true. Correctly -- it -- if they allowed it what documentation that -- to produce and things like in and so what was the response than that you got back was that it was that an email response back into your friend. Do it was we originally had -- house. A year prior to this and never received any information. And then about -- earlier it was -- up again. And this time we got an -- email saying much in our previously stated that you had to register and compete under the gender you were born. Andrew and do what can I want to bring you to this that. The -- ever been spelled out in the rules or any of the laws of the guidelines for the across the competition that it's spelled out that way. -- and across the competition. Policies we have not seen those. We've just heard from council and he indicated that was a policy but California laws are clear. -- the unruh act they cannot discriminate against Chloe because of her gender identity. So close that -- how do you respond pretty answered across this claim that there. Keeping you out because of a quote obligation to protect the rights of all competitors and the competition itself. And we had several back and force before I contacted -- -- and a lot suddenly hot I posed the situation to them. -- if I was to compete with men I would be here via. A clear disadvantage. But if you take a woman whose transition to male and put him. With female that -- get a clear advantage and they never respondents this letter and after waiting for summer months but -- contacted -- what was told the back and forth exchanges. They waited an. But they would seem that way a long time to respond to me -- I kinda have to harp on them to get a response. -- Joaquin -- -- all -- to move. In a bit creator of -- direction. -- it well I would think. And it was so what was your response than when you did get that's final written when you did get that final reaction from them. Which one sort of -- -- from from their determination challenge. From there -- from their determination. I am and I'm understanding. I listened -- me now I I -- as I mean I. Completely blown away because profits you know retreating to such an open and inviting community. That I just I -- Still blown away that there's -- study often aren't. Not allowing me to participate except with -- which I -- -- And -- -- still been training with cross fits since that since -- began as soon. I've still continued my training yes and I do right by train sixties and we have it. I haven't wavered from that. So what can let me ask you then about that -- -- what are the terms of the suit that the youth that your clients filed against cross. -- basically we've we've alleged that costs that it is not following California law. And that -- discriminate against quality based on her gender identity. And we think that their policy should be changed -- ask for an injunction to preclude them from. Prohibiting Chloe from participating in the open and in their games. And of course you know that. This issue is already been decided. By other sport governing bodies the International Olympic Committee is decided this issue. And a tennis association. The MMA. Has with the most recent found fox. Case of the golfing association with Christine Lawler her case. And basically they're -- here was that if you. Had the general reassignment surgery and you were on hormone therapy for at least two years that you're able to compete. And and so. We we know they clearly fits that criteria but under California -- there they have to allow Paula to participate because she is legally -- And how was the to a half million dollar figure to -- it. -- Amid Arab -- the damages we think of that -- is suffering first she is embarrassed has yet to publicly come out secondly. She's stimulated by the fact that she can't compete with -- team. And individually. And we we think that a jury would would punish them for discriminating against her in this way. When it's are -- California lives very very clear cut case. Under on -- and so we think that. That is the that is an appropriate amount task that's across -- pay. It's so close for prior to this thing. Had you been -- you out outwardly identified yourself with other cross that members. I'm very nice reluctantly I mean -- transition when I was sixteen years old so more than my entire adult life and I identified as female. So it's been something that people in -- now if they're close to me or if they've been around me long enough but it's not there's nothing -- -- ever publicly identified as. So this is all -- having to. The outlook and and identify publically is is totally now. What are you getting that from other groups that are out there showing support or are in showing support for -- I -- -- M staying away from most media I am getting. Tons of emails and messages I'm showing support. -- for the negative side I'm not really seen much of -- I don't really care -- has you know I'm sure people have strong opinions. What what about your fellow cross that athletes then how are they responding to this. But personal community. The friends -- vocalist -- 100%. If the decision we're change would you feel comfortable competing. I wouldn't you yourself do you -- so comfortable without. -- -- calling -- that the cross at trinity it's a losing note for the for the tight mitnick from camaraderie. -- -- ever to experience any kind of discrimination. Do prior to this. Not prior -- this I have a I have no idea what's gonna happen in the future -- prior to this now. The world regardless of how this -- will be determined -- do you see yourself and continuing. To train with cross spent. -- the modality. Fitness yes I do. -- working working with cross spit specifically. Crosses the style of work out yes. What do you -- say that because I imagine that you are getting inundated with a lot of people that are -- either tried as -- -- reach out to either show their support. Or to hear more about this suit. Has it been overwhelming are you wanting to be. You know cast and in this much of a public spotlight. And I have never wanted to sit in this lecture us all it is super overwhelming. I think a few hours yesterday morning and went to a lot of emails and -- reply. Two people on to say thank you for every pound child support. It's. It's definitely -- change for me. And we're watching what is the next step that in this suit. What the next thing we do is serve cross that with a lawsuit. And -- we. Start with Arab litigation process of discovery. Will be taken depositions. Of their managers and their. Folks who made the policy to prevent -- from participating. And then will of course go to court and get a -- -- Johnson -- -- McCoy thank you both so much for your time we we appreciate that thank you so much going. And authority of -- -- -- again you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news that starting this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now though -- down -- New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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