Bodybuilders and powerlifters alike have no other place in the world to compete where divisions are based on gender identity and gender expression, except for the International Association of Trans Bodybuilders and Powerlifters (IATBP). The IATBP is an organization created for bodybuilders and powerlifters who identify as trans, as well as non-binary and gender-nonconforming people. The IATBP is the first official organization created specifically for athletes who are not on the gender binary spectrum, giving them a platform to compete fairly.
PAVING THE WAY
In 2014, the first historic bodybuilding competition was hosted in Atlanta, GA, at the first annual FTM Fitness World Conference, created by Neo Sandja. The IATB was officially created by Neo in 2018 as a separate organization from the conference. The P, for powerlifters, was added in 2019 to be more inclusive of the existing powerlifting meets. The IATBP, as of 2019, is a 501(c)3 (non-profit) organization.
Our first non-binary athletes, one in bodybuilding in 2018 and one in powerlifting in 2019, paved the way for a new generation of non-binary and gender-nonconforming athletes to compete in these events.
In fact, in a survey IATBP conducted in 2020, respondents indicated that a safe and equitable place to compete for non-binary and gender-nonconforming athletes was desperately needed. New divisions based on gender identity and gender expression were added in both bodybuilding and powerlifting events in 2021 to reflect and respect the needs and wants of the community that the IATBP serves.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 competition and meet were temporarily replaced by the Inaugural Virtual Conference 2020: Voices in Trans Bodybuilding and Powerlifting. Presenters included transgender bodybuilder and powerlifter Janae Marie Kroc, transgender activist Aydian Dowling, powerlifter and transgender activist JayCee Cooper, and 2019 IATBP Overall Winner, bodybuilder Damien “Phoenix” Montoya.
This year’s IATBP event, being held Saturday, November 18, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, is not to be missed! Renowned bodybuilder and powerlifter Janae Marie Kroc, who is a champion in both events, serves as the powerlifting meet director, bringing the depth of her expertise to help guide the 2023 powerlifting meet. Janae will also be on the judges’ panel for the bodybuilding competition.
IATBP represents the future of transgender bodybuilding and powerlifting. It created new competition and meet divisions to include non-binary and gender-nonconforming groups, as well as an open division for those who don’t wish to compete according to HRT status.
These new divisions, based on gender identity and gender expression, have been crafted to create worldwide, groundbreaking changes in both bodybuilding and powerlifting. Competitors can self-select based on their gender expression and HRT status if desired. This inclusiveness is a feature that can’t be found at any other bodybuilding or powerlifting event around the globe.
The new divisions join the already established groups for FTM competitors, from which the IATBP grew.
The IATBP has been featured in national media outlets, including CNN and Al Jazeera America in 2015. The competition was featured on CNN Great Big Story in 2016, and in 2018, the documentary Man Made was released, some of which was filmed at our 2017 bodybuilding competition.
Our goal is to provide a supportive place for trans people around the world to compete in bodybuilding and powerlifting, no matter where they are on the transgender or non-binary/gender non-conforming spectrum. We want to help create a world where all people are accepted for who they are.
- Be officially recognized worldwide as the leading authority of Bodybuilding and Powerlifting for people of Trans experience
- Create a certification training program with membership accreditation for all the IATBP judges
- Standardize all the competitions’ rules, expectations and membership affiliations across the board.