Transgender Surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson Barred From Competing In Huntington Beach - Stab Mag

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Sasha Jane Lowerson upon winning the Western Australia State Championships in 2022 in both the Open Women's Logger and Open Women's division. Photo: Surfing WA

Transgender Surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson Barred From Competing In Huntington Beach

Until the California Coastal Commission ruled it illegal to do so.

elsewhere // May 13, 2024
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sasha Jane Lowerson — the transgender surfer who was placed in the center of a media imbroglio a few months ago after appearing in a Rip Curl ad — reached out to American Longboard Association organizer Todd Messick to verify that there was spot for her at the Championships that ran three days ago on May 11th.

According to the LA Times, instead of responding to Sasha directly, Todd Messick issued a statement on Instagram saying that it was his policy to, “support biological males and biological females in their divisions, respectively.” He continued, “You guys can live however and whatever you want to do in life. It’s not for me to decide. But it is for me to decide what’s fair and not fair for the American Longboard Assn. That being said, we’re going to stick to our guns. I want to offer an equal playing field for all athletes.”

This Instagram post — like most Instagram posts regarding transgender topics — resulted in a viral fire storm of rhetoric from both sides of the argument, garnering 1,000+ comments in short order.

The news soon reached Surf Equity, an organization that advocates for the LGBTQ+ surf community, and they alerted the California Coastal Commission who sent the following memo to the American Longboard Association:

“Prohibiting or unfairly limiting transgender athletes from competing in this or any surf competition that takes place in the coastal waters of California does not meet the requirements of the public access policies of the Coastal Act and impedes access by discriminating against transgender surfers.”

The California Coastal Commission further specified that the American Longboard Association could not host the event unless they allow transgender surfers to compete. Todd Messick then signed a formal document acknowledging this and officially allowed transgender participation.

However, in the end, Sasha Jane Lowerson decided not to compete anyways, citing the fact that it simply wouldn’t be “fun” anymore.

Sasha then took to Instagram to respond to the situation in a caption:

“As I walk my journey through the turmoil and the implications of people that want to spread misinformation, I’ve found myself wondering why? Just why do people hate me for existing?”


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