A federation founded to provide drug free competition for powerlifters is grappling with the effects of a negative media spotlight powered by transgender advocates. These activists insist the federation allow biological men to compete with women, and use pseudoscience to whip the media into a frenzy on their behalf.
Female competitors who do not openly cheer the inclusion of transgender athletes in competition are being bullied and harassed by trans activists who say they are transphobic, bigoted and racist. Executive members of the federation are receiving threats and hostile messages on social media, in personal phone calls and in emails. Although the federation is one of several that restricts how transgender athletes compete, it has been especially singled out in dozens of news stories sympathetic to the activists on the other side of the policy.