Case announcement: Our lawsuit against USA Powerlifting

Today, Gender Justice along with co-counsel Nichols Kaster announced our lawsuit against USA Powerlifting for discriminating against our client, JayCee Cooper, when they banned her and all other transgender athletes from competing. USA Powerlifting’s blatantly transphobic policy is unacceptable, and we’re going to fight to make sure every trans athlete can compete in the sport they love.

Case announcement: Our lawsuit against USA Powerlifting

Gender Justice works to break down gender barriers and end gender-based discrimination so that all people can thrive regardless of their gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation. That means everyone gets to compete in the sport they love, in the category that aligns with their gender identity – because everyone in women’s sports wins when we have the most talented athletes on the court, the field, or in competition, who are not only skilled and trained, but supported on their teams. 

In 2019, we filed charges asserting that USA Powerlifting’s blanket ban on allowing transgender athletes to compete violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Today, we filed our complaint in court.


“Trans athletes across the country deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else, and we deserve equitable opportunities to compete in the sports we love,” 

JayCee Cooper, Gender Justice client


“I jumped through every hoop, cleared every hurdle to be able to compete with USA Powerlifting, but was met with a retroactive ban on trans athletes. I’m going to fight as hard as I can with Gender Justice to ensure that every trans athlete has the opportunity to compete, and to be recognized with full dignity and humanity.”


Get the facts: trans equity in sports


Trans women belong in women’s sports, and their right to compete is supported by the International Olympic Committee, the International Powerlifting Federation’s Executive Committee, federal and Minnesota state law. USA Powerlifting’s ban on transgender athletes is not only illegal, it’s also rooted in outdated gender stereotypes that harm all women athletes. Gender Justice will always work to make sure sports teams and federations live up to their values of equity and inclusion by fighting for trans athletes’ right to compete.

We know women’s sports are stronger when they prioritize gender equity and inclusion, but we have a lot of work ahead of us to make sure women’s sports are safe and supportive places for all women, including trans women.

Your support helps us continue our legal work and community engagement to fight for JayCee and all trans athletes. Make a gift today.



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