Janae Marie Kroc: Gender Transition Beyond Binary

Laurie and Debbie say:

Neither of us follows powerlifting, so we hadn’t heard of Janae Marie Kroc until recently. Kroc, who was a well-known presumably male weight-lifter until she came out as trans a few weeks ago (after documenting her transition for a year), is famous for “the ‘kroc row,’ a variation on the dumbbell row  Jim Wendler explained thusly: ‘Take a weight you can row one time, then row it twenty times. Janae has performed this exercise with ~300lbs.”

Janae Marie Kroc

Unlike Caitlyn Jenner, whose transition has been a very clear binary shift to being a traditional female woman (and that’s who she is), Janae Marie Kroc is following a much more complex path:


Being a total alpha male and transgender definitely makes me unique even in the transgender community. …

Gender identity and personality tests that I have taken in an effort to figure myself out always indicate that I am both hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine. Exactly what I need to do to be at peace with myself is something I am still not 100% certain of.

Transitioning is a very difficult process and even tougher at an older age (I’m 42). … And living as a transgender woman that is honest about her situation is very difficult and can be dangerous. I am a very realistic person and I don’t think the transitioning will magically solve all of my issues without creating new challenges. Whatever path I choose there will be sacrifices to be made.

Of course, all transitions are complex and involve sacrifices (or at least hard choices), but Kroc is talking about something else, about embracing a female identity without rejecting a male identity, about living her truth as a female person who has many attitudes that we label “male” as if we knew what the words “male” and “female” even mean.

The trans community and their allies extremely familiar with people who identify as gender fluid,  people who have complex genders, and people who flatly refuse to place themselves anywhere near the binary gender spectrum. Anyone who wants to learn about gender fluidity can find many resources. The mainstream media, however, when it treats with transition at all, falls immediately into the comforting simplicities of “male or female.”

Janae Marie Kroc, as a star in her own field and a media celebrity, is in a marvelous position to force interviewers and newscasters to confront the complexity she represents.

Thanks to supergee for the pointer.