This Transgender Bodybuilder Is Ready To Tell Her Full Story & Show Her Fans How She Lives

When Janae Kroczaleski, the bodybuilder and powerlifter formerly known as Matt "Kroc" Kroczaleski, came out as transgender this past July, she described herself as both "an alpha male" and a "girly-girl." She made it clear that she identifies as a woman, though her time spent in the traditionally masculine world of bodybuilding and strength athletics will always be a part of who she is — which was part of her decision to continue going by "Matt" in certain settings, and to use the term "genderfluid" to describe herself. Back in July, she explained to The Huffington Post that this is a complexity she happily lives with: "The reality is that I am very complex and don’t fit into any of the boxes that society attempts to squeeze us into." Since then, Kroczaleski has spoken openly about her transition and decision to stop competing, and this month, Muscle & Fitness will take readers inside Janae's home for her first photo shoot since coming out. A sneak peek of the article describes Janae's basement as a site where Janae and Matt intersect: In one corner of Matt’s basement gym, there are shelves lined with old bodybuilding and powerlifting magazines, copies of Matt’s book, Insane Training, and his DVD, Intensity... Hidden under the stairs is another stack of old magazines: Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, and Glamour. They were all saved for hair, makeup, and fashion ideas — for the day “Kroc" could fade away and Janae could reveal herself as the woman she always knew she was on the inside.

Being photographed in the intimacy of your own home is a big decision for any public figure, let alone someone who has already shared so much of her personal story with her fans. We admire Janae's decision to remain open and speak candidly about her identity, especially when it comes to her three sons. She tells Muscle & Fitness that there's no point in avoiding the issue: "If I postpone everything, what am I teaching them?... That you should suppress who you are to make everyone else happy? I think that’s the worst lesson I could teach them." We'd like to take that advice for ourselves, as we wait to see what's next for Janae and her transition. The October issue of Muscle & Fitness is on newsstands this week.

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