Registration for the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships 2018 is now open and the organisers have introduced a new optional Mx Category ( Third Gender ) to encourage people from transgender, non-binary and intersex communities to participate in sports. The LGBT Championships are open to ALL regardless of sexuality, health status, HIV status, gender or ability. Because this is optional, people who are transgender, non-binary and intersex can opt to enter male or female categories, or the Mx.
At last year's event the Union of Lifters that organises the Championships agreed unanimously at congress to equalize weight classes for all participants and to introduce the Mx Category as an option for transgender, non-binary and intersex participants. The LGBT International Powerlifting Championships are an annual event, with an aim of developing LGBT powerlifting worldwide and increasing participation between now and the Gay Games in Hong Kong in 2022.
One of the key aims of the Federation of Gay Games is to reach out to under-represented groups within sports and LGBT IPC 2018 will be the first sporting event in the world to welcome transgender participants with an optional Mx third gender category. The principles of the Gay Games are built on the core principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best and LGBT IPC aims to encourage these principles as we grow.
Speaking about the opening of registration for LGBT IPC 2018, Chris Morgan, Male Co-President, LGBT Powerlifting Union and Nine Time World Champion in the sport said, "LGBT IPC was hugely successful in 2017 in bringing together LGBT Powerlifting athletes from all corners of the globe, in 2018 we aim to expand on this by reaching out through to the new LGBT Powerlifting clubs we see emerging around the world. We aim to be as inclusive as possible by equalizing all weight classes and offering the new third gender Mx category."
Speaking about the Introduction of the Mx Category within LGBT IPC, Charlotte Wareing, Female Co-President, LGBT Powerlifting Union and Seven Time World Champion in the sport said, "Issues effecting transgender, non-binary and intersex participants were discussed in detail at our congress in 2017 and we decided as a group to make our event as inclusive and as a safe as possible by offering an optional MX category. Athletes from within the trans, non-binary and intersex communities are very welcome to participate within LGBT IPC without any fear of discrimination."
Also Speaking about the Introduction of the Mx Category within LGBT IPC, Professor Ardel Thomas, Non Binary Representative, LGBT Powerlifting Union and three times Gay Games medal winner said, "We have seen a great deal of adverse reaction recently to media reports of transgender athletes competing in strength sports, particularly towards athletes who meet the new IOC Guidance and have qualified for multi sports events like the Commonwealth Games. We are aware of new and novice trans, non-binary and intersex lifters are concerned about participating in sports because of lack of understanding and therefore we have decided to offer an optional Mx Category at LGBT IPC 2018."
Last year's LGBT IPC attracted participants from all corners of the globe with nine nations represented including Australia, Belarussia, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, United States of America and of course the host nation Great Britain. Participation numbers are expected to grow significantly this year with Team GB and Team USA Powerlifting Workshops and Seminars scheduled to take place in Atlanta ( USA ), Chicago ( USA ), London ( UK ), Blackpool ( UK ) and Birmingham ( UK ).
The bidding process is already under way for LGBT IPC events happening in 2019, 2020 and 2021 with expressions of interest received already from Blackpool UK, Munich Germany, Athens Greece and of course Hong Kong, China who will host the Gay Games in 2022. Powerlifting was included in Hong Kong's successful bid document and the LGBT Powerlifting Union look forward to working with them between now and the 2022 Gay Games.
LGBT IPC - LONDON 2018
The weekend programme in 2018 will include a Coaching Clinic, Technical Briefing, Competition Day, Athletes Meal, Congress and Closing Party, offering the chance for participants not only to compete, but also to socialise and interact with other LGBT Powerlifters. Something they may rarely get the opportunity to do in mainstream competitions in their own countries.
More information at www.lgbtpowerlifting.org or their Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/203653086703441/ or their Facebook Event Page www.facebook.com/events/2000903610182396/ .