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Transgender Bodybuilder Huge Support from Muscle Legends

8/2/2015 9:00 AM PDT

Transgender Bodybuilder -- Huge Support from Muscle Legends


Two POWERHOUSES in the weightlifting community are offering their support to Janae Marie -- the bodybuilding champ who revealed she's transgender ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

As we previously reported, Janae -- formerly Matt "Kroc" Kroczaleski -- said she's concerned about competing in the future because she's worried about a possible backlash.

But we spoke with bodybuilding legend Shawn Ray -- a 12-TIME Mr. Olympia finalist -- who tells us he's got Janae's back ... and he's not the only one. 

"This is a good place for him," Ray said ... "We're a melting pot of people. You cannot go out and discriminate against people."

Ray adds, "He may never be totally accepted with lipstick and a wig at bodybuilding competition. But, honestly, I don't think he's going to have a hard time fitting in with most people if he's jacked."

We also spoke with Brian Shaw -- the 3-time (and reigning) World's Strongest Man -- who says he doesn't completely "understand the issue" but adds, "I'm not in a position to judge. I can't pass judgment, I'm not perfect."

Shaw adds, "[Janae] is a fairly well-known athlete. So to have success in the arena and then come out and be honest, I respect that."

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