Terry Miller of Bulkeley wins the 100m girls dash i. 11.72 (meet record). Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell 2nd, RHAM’s… https://t.co/ivpGzIFM5v— GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) 1528145089.0
But a trio of biological female track athletes have had enough, and they're fighting back.
Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell and their mothers filed suit in federal court Wednesday to challenge the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference's policy of letting males compete in girls' sports, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing them.
What are the details?
As a result of the policy, "two males were permitted to compete in girls' athletic competitions beginning in the 2017 track season. Between them, they have taken 15 women's state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and have taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone," ADF said.
Mitchell would have won the 2019 state championship in the girls' 55-meter indoor track competition, "but because two males took first and second place, she was denied the gold medal," the legal firm said.
Miller won that race with a state record time of 6.95 seconds, the Associated Press reported. Yearwood took second place with a time of 7.01 seconds, and the third-place sprinter — Mitchell — hit the tape at a distant 7.23 seconds.
Chelsea MitchellImage source: Alliance Defending Freedom
Soule finished eighth in the 55-meter sprint — and missed qualifying for the New England regionals by two spots, the outlet said. She told AP had Miller and Yearwood not run, she would've been in the regional race to show her abilities to more college coaches.
"We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it's demoralizing," Soule told the outlet. "I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair."
As for Smith, she won the 400-meter dash at last June's New England Regional Championships — and no biological males competed in the event, ADF said. But when she lined up for the 200-meter dash, a biological male ran against her and won; Smith came in third.
"Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn't fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities," ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb said. "Having separate boys' and girls' sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition. And forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics. Connecticut's policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women."
ADF attorneys are asking the court to halt enforcement of the CIAC's policy while the lawsuit moves forward, the firm noted.
What did the transgender sprinters have to say?
The transgender sprinters in question — Miller and Yearwood, both seniors — issued statements in response the lawsuit, the AP noted.
"I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent," Miller said, the outlet reported. "I am a girl, and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community, and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored."
Yearwood added that "I will never stop being me! I will never stop running! I hope that the next generation of trans youth doesn't have to fight the fights that I have. I hope they can be celebrated when they succeed not demonized. For the next generation, I run for you!" the AP said.
The American Civil Liberties Union said it will represent the transgender teens and defend the Connecticut policy in court, the outlet added.
Here's a look at Soule and Smith:
This story has been updated