World champion powerlifter and transgender woman inspires, educates others with her story

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 16:12:32-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Janae Marie Kroc recently wrote on her Instagram page that she never thought her current life was possible.

"I envisioned losing everything if my secret was ever discovered," she wrote.

Janae broke records in powerlifting when the world of strength sports knew her as Matt Kroc, an ultra-masculine picture of perfection.

"The reputation I had was being the most intense, the craziest. I was like the alpha of the alphas and I was the last person in the world anyone suspected," Janae said.

A lot of the well-respected big names in strength sports supported Janae when she went public as a trans woman in 2015, but she said there were some fans who were very upset about it.

"I had people telling me they would burn the posters I signed for them."

Janae, who lives in Metro Detroit, now spends most of her time as an activist and educator for the LGBTQIA+ communities.

"Tragically, suicide is still disproportionately high among transgender people. The rejection, discrimination, prejudice, hate, and violence we face as a community is often the driving force behind leading so many of us to attempt to take our own lives," she wrote on Instagram. "If any of you out there are in that place where I've been, please keep fighting. The night is always darkest just before the sun rises."

You can learn more about Janae's journey on Instagram and her YouTube channel.