HARTFORD, Conn. — Three female high school athletes have filed suit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and other entities over a policy allowing students to compete in sports in accordance with their stated “gender identity.” As two biological boys who identify as girls were permitted to compete as females, the plaintiffs contend that the situation has, and continues to, harm their chances of succeeding in track as they cannot outrun males.
“While boys and girls have comparable athletic capabilities before boys hit puberty, male puberty quickly increases the levels of circulating testosterone in healthy teen and adult males to levels ten to twenty times higher than the levels that occur in healthy adult females, and this natural flood of testosterone drives a wide range of physiological changes that give males a powerful physiological athletic advantage over females,” the lawsuit reads.
“Administering testosterone-suppressing drugs to males by no means eliminates their performance advantage. Some physiological advantages — such as bone size and hip configuration — cannot be reversed once they have occurred. And suppressing testosterone in men after puberty also does not completely reverse their advantages in muscle mass and strength, bone mineral density, lung size, or heart size.”
As previously reported, following the Athletic Conference’s decision to provide “transgender student athletes with equal opportunities to participate in CIAC athletic programs consistent with their gender identity,” two biological boys, who go by the names Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, were permitted to join the girls track team at their school and compete as females — moving on to the New England regionals.
One of the female competitors, Selina Soule, who attends Bloomfield High School, wasn’t able to qualify for the 55-meter race at the regionals because Yearwood and Miller took two of the top spots. She came in eighth.
“When I’m at the start of the race, when I’m lining up and getting into my blocks, everyone already knows the outcome. Those two athletes are going to come up and two, and everyone knows it,” she told the Daily Signal.
“From third on, it’s a little different, we’re actually fighting for those spots [among the girls], but in those meets, there’s no way that one of us biological girls will be able to outrun those transgender athletes.”
She said that her entire track team has been affected. It lost out in the state open championship because the team with the transgender runner naturally came out on top.
Soule and her mother, along with fellow runners Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith and their parents, lodged a complaint last June with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and the Department agreed to investigate whether the girls were being denied equal opportunity in athletics due to transgender participation.
Now, the students have also filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the policy, specifically citing that Yearwood and Miller will deprive them of their achievements by making it impossible for them to win.
“In fact, Andraya Yearwood is currently ranked 7th in the entire nation in the high school girls’ 55m dash,” it states. “[I]f Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood are permitted to compete in the girls’ 55m event, it is likely that one or both of these males will deprive Chelsea and Selina of a victory position she has earned in the State Open Championship.”
“As Chelsea and Selina are seniors, the Spring 2020 track season is their final opportunity to compete in high school track and field events, to improve their scores, to win championships, to receive public recognition of their achievements, and to experience the thrill of victory,” the complaint outlines.
Smith, a sophomore, “has already been pushed down from an earned second place victory in a 2019 State Championship when male athlete Terry Miller took first place,” it states.
“Failure to grant the requested relief will cause irreparable harm to Plaintiffs by continuing to deny them the experience of fair competition that reflects the athletic capabilities of female athletes, as well as the experience of victory and the recognition that can come from victory,” the lawsuit argues. “Each meet, once over, cannot be redone. Each opportunity lost for participation in an elite meet cannot be recovered.”
Read the lawsuit in full here.
As previously reported, Yearwood and Miller state that their feelings and identification should to be taken into consideration.
“We’re female, so we wouldn’t run on any other team but the female team,” Yearwood told NBC News.
“Are we not human like everyone else? Am I just some ‘it’ or my life doesn’t matter?” Miller asked. “How do you think we feel? We go through this every day and we’re brave enough to keep running.”
With the assistance of the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the girls are seeking a declaration that the Conference policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying women an equal opportunity in sports, and an injunction prohibiting male students from participating in girls’ competitions.
“Boys have physical advantages over girls. It’s dispiriting to girls competing against boys to know what the outcome likely is before the race even starts,” ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner said in a statement. “The government shouldn’t rob these girls of the opportunity not only to win, but to earn college scholarships and launch their own careers in athletics, coaching, and more.”