Two “transgender” teens are dominating the Connecticut high school track scene- and their recent win has sparked a debate concerning their participation in the female race.
17-year-olds Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood were born as males but identify as “male to female transgender,” effectively forcing the leadership at Cromwell High School to allow them to compete on female teams.
The two teenagers are undergoing hormone therapies and both set state indoor track records, with Miller finishing a 55-meter dash in 6.95 seconds and Yearwood finishing in 7.01 seconds.
Meanwhile, the female who placed third managed to do the dash in 7.23 seconds.
According to the Daily Mail, the duo also won the 100-meter state outdoor championship last year, and Miller managed to win the 300 meter indoor race this season.
Critics have claimed the “gender identity” argument is unfair, as some athletes -who are still male in all but how they identify- can partake in female sports against physically weaker opponents.
For Yearwood, the criticisms seem to come from adults, not fellow students.
“’I have learned a lot about myself and about other people through this transition. I always try to focus most on all of the positive encouragement that I have received from family, friends and supporters,” Yearwood said.
Still, Yearwood openly admits to the advantage, but claims there is more to it.
“One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” Yearwood said.
However, not all young people are on board. Enter Selina Soule, a Glastonbury High student who completed in the same events.
“We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” she said.
The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference claims that the policy of high school sports follows a pre-existing state anti-discrimination law, which mandates that students must be treated as the gender with which they identify.
CASCIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini went so far as to compare the transgender issue to the Civil Rights movement of old.
“I don’t think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete,” he said. “I think it’s going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue.”
Each US state has different policies when it comes to transgender athletes.
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