3 Connecticut Girls File Complaint over Transgender HS Track Athletes

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

Runners compete in a prelim of the women's 1,500 meters during the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Austin, Texas, Thursday, June 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

federal discrimination complaint has been filed with the United States Education Department's Office for Civil Rights by a law firm on behalf of three Connecticut girls against a policy for transgender athletes. 

Per the Alliance Defending Freedom's complaint (h/t ESPN.com), the girls want an investigation into a policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in sports according to the gender with which they identify. 

"Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field," Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said. "Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls' sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn't force these young women to be spectators in their own sports."

The complaint aims to overturn the policy, adopted by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, and force transgender athletes to compete based on their gender at birth. 

The three girls believe the policy for transgender athletes has prevented other female runners from finishing higher in races, potentially missing out on college scholarships as a result. 

Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller are the two transgender athletes identified in the complaint. Miller told Dan Brechlin of the Hartford Courant she feels the complaint is an attack on her accomplishments. 

"I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent," Miller said. "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 issued a statement about the complaint:

"I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run. There is no shortage of discrimination that I face as a young black woman who is transgender. I have to wake up every day in a world where people who look like me face so many scary and unfair things.

"I am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me. This is what keeps me going. Every day I train hard—I work hard to succeed on the track, to support my teammates, and to make my community proud."

Both athletes are working with the American Civil Liberties Union on the case.  

Per TransAthlete.com, Connecticut is one of 17 states that allows transgender athletes to compete in high school sports without any medical restrictions.