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Transgender and gender fluid powerlifter Janae Marie Kroc, born Matthew Raymond, recently announced on Instagram that she will return to competitive bodybuilding and pursue her IFBB pro card—in the men’s category.
You can see her announcement below:
View this post on Instagram
After much thought and discussion I have decided to return to competition. I will be working with Justin Harris @troponin_nutrition and my goal will be to obtain my IFBB pro card. This was the goal I was pursuing when I was outted in 2015 and it subsequently took a back seat to everything else that was going on in my life. I am a competitor by nature and without a specific goal to focus on my training since that time has lacked direction and intensity. Recommitting to this goal excites me and I'm looking forward to grinding away in the gym again like I was always known for. Above all else the main goal will be to bring my all time best to the stage, to be bigger and leaner than I have ever been. Since I'm certain many of you you are wondering and will be asking I'll just address it now. I will be competing in the men's division (notice I did not say "as a male") and no this does not change the fact that I'm trans/genderfluid/nonbinary. This also says nothing about my beliefs concerning trans athletes and fair competition only what I feel is right for me. So along with everything else that I feel is important to talk about you can expect to see more posts regarding training, nutrition, and the like. #transgender #genderfluid #nonbinary #gendernonconforming #genderqueer
Janae had a very successful powerlifting and bodybuilding career before her 2015 transition. Competing as Matt, she was named the Arnold Classic WPO Powerlifting Middleweight Champion in 2006, and later accomplished a 2,551-pound total lift (738-pound bench, 810-pound deadlift, and 1,003-pound squat) at the UPA Powerlifting Nationals in 2009—it was a world record in the 220-pound weight class at the time, but was broken about a year later.
Her career was put on hold in 2015 when she came out as transgender, shortly after a video outing her began to go viral. In an exclusive interview with M&F, Janae said she was done hiding.
“I can remember being five, six years old and already having these feelings of needing to be female,” Janae said. “I would daydream about being a girl. I’d be doing the things I’d normally do, but doing them as a girl. There was a lot of shame. I didn’t know why I felt that way.”
Since going public with her transition, Janae hasn’t competed in any shows, but it’s clear she hasn’t stopped lifting either.
Although she uses female pronouns, Janae identifies as gender fluid—meaning her gender identity is not fixed. “I have a female gender identity, but … everything traditionally that describes being feminine doesn’t necessarily apply to me,” she told The Independent. “Sometimes I’m more feminine or more masculine, and there’s movement with that.”
Competing in the men’s category, she said on Instagram, will not change how she identifies herself, and it says nothing about her beliefs regarding trans athletes and fair competition. She simply feels that competing in the men’s category is what’s right for her.
The IFBB Professional League did not immediately comment on Janae’s announcement.