Parents in Connecticut have launched petitions to prevent boys from running in girls’ track and field events, saying the current rules governing transgender teenagers gives boys an unfair advantage.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) – which governs high school sports in the state – allows athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. That rule benefited Cromwell High School’s Andraya Yearwood, a boy who is racing in girls’ events and who won consecutive 100-meter sprint titles in Class M as a freshman and sophomore. Another boys competing as a girl, Bulkeley High School’s Terry Miller, won the 100- and 200-meter open races this year, setting records in each meet.
There are now many transgender athletes competing across the state, the Hartford Courant reported.
CIAC policy doesn’t tie gender to biological sex. Instead, it defines gender as the gender with which one identifies. The rules are different on the collegiate level and in international competitions, which require an athlete to complete hormone treatment to more level the playing field.
Together, the two parent-driven petitions – one in Glastonbury and the other in Plainville had about 150 signatures as of June 5, the newspaper reported.
Critics of the current policy says it ignores the obvious – that boys are naturally and biologically faster and stronger than girls.
“I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify,” Glastonbury sophomore Selina Soule, who finished sixth in the 100 meters, told the Courant. “These girls, they’re just coming in and beating everyone. I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl.”
Said CIAC executive Karissa Niehoff, “The elephant in the room is when winning and losing comes into play. Folks will say it’s not about winning and losing. But when a situation rises to the forefront, it’s generally when there’s a situation involving winning and losing and it doesn’t feel good.”
But the policy has its supporters.
“A transgender girl is a girl and ought to be treated like a girl,” Erin Buzuvis, the director of the Center of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Western New England College, told the Courant. “If you start to put limitations or exclusions on their participation, not only do you run the risk of violating state anti-discrimination law but also you are disregarding and disrespecting a population of students based on a core aspect of their identity, which is something that schools should not be in the practice of doing.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 8, 2018