World record holder and world champion powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski officially came out as transgender yesterday. She has chosen the new name “Janae Marie Kroc.” Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Has Been Posting Images as a Transgender for Over a Year
Despite officially making her trans status official yesterday, Kroc has been posting photos of her living as a female on her Instagram account since last year. In her Instagram bio she describes herself as a “Transgender/genderfluid Alpha male/girly girl Lesbian in a male body”, meaning she is attracted sexually to women.
According to OutSports, Kroc may have had facial feminization in the spring of 2014 as part of her transition. The above photo was posted to her Instagram around that time.
Her previously dead Twitter account of @MattKroc has been updated for the first time today in over two months, letting her fans know about her transition. Matt Kroczaleski’s Wikipedia also now redirects to Janae Marie Kroc.
2. She Wrote a Letter to Fans
To make her transgender status public, Kroc posted this letter to Gym Flow 100, a fitness blog. She wrote:
3. Fans Are in Disbelief
After Kroc’s announcement, fans of hers on the online forum of TMuscle began to discuss the news. Comments were both supportive and less than supportive and include:
Can’t be easy to admit that to the world, especially being well known in such a “manly” sport. I wonder if he turned to lifting to try run away from it somehow, convince himself that he’s a man. In any case, good luck to him/her.
Another man who can’t accept he’s gay. ” I’m not gay, I’m just a woman trapped in a man’s body!!!”
I can’t see him in bikini class somehow
4. She Has an Impressive Career
Kroc served in the United States Marine Corps from 1991-1995. She was also selected for Presidential Security Duty, serving under President Clinton. She is known for being a record holding powerlifter, too. According to Powerlifting Watch:
Matt Kroczaleski (220) totalled 2,551 pounds today at the UPA Powerlifting Nationals in Dubuque, Iowa. The total breaks the previous all-time record held by Shawn Frankl of 2,540 pounds. Kroczaleski squatted 1,003 pounds, benched 738, and finished by deadlifting 810 pounds. Kroczaleski also holds the fifth highest total of all-time at 242.
5. She Follows Caitlyn Jenner
Kroc is the second major U.S. athlete to come out as transgender this year, following Olympian Caitlyn Jenner who officially came out as transgender in June. In July, Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Over the course of Jenner’s athletic career, she won many esteemed awards. After winning the Olympic decathlon, Jenner became a national hero and was the recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the nation. She was also awarded the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1976. She has been inducted into the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980, the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986, the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, and the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Jenner was also a successful race car driver.