CT Students Sue Transgender Athletes

Recently, competition on the track in Connecticut has turned into competition in court. On February 12, three high school students filed a federal lawsuit seeking to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
The plaintiffs allege that transgender girls participating in girls’ sports receive an unfair advantage. According to CBS News, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Christiana Holcomb, said, “[Connecticut’s Policy] robs female athletes of opportunities because of the physical advantages of males.”
Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller are transgender athletes who have found themselves in the center of this case. Both girls are accomplished runners and have earned a total of 15 state titles in multiple events. The plaintiffs in the case have all raced against Yearwood and Miller and almost always lost to them. One of the plaintiffs, Alanna Smith, told CBS News, “Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts. That biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of what someone believes about gender identity.”
Miller and Yearwood have not remained silent. In the Hartford Courant, Miller wrote, “There is a long history of excluding black girls from sport and policing our bodies. I am a runner, and I will keep running and keep fighting for my existence, my community, and my rights.”
Connecticut is one of 17 states that allows transgender athletes to compete at the high school level as the gender they identify with, without restrictions. Dr. Rachel Myers, director of diversity and inclusion, said, “[I am] proud to live in a state that actually has so many protections for transgender people. Go talk to a trans person. Get to know them as a human being, get to ask those questions. …I don’t see [being transgender] as any different than other civil rights that have been fought for in the country.”
As a community, the school strives to make every single student feel safe on campus. Any student can apply to live in Watson, the school’s all-gender dorm. There are also many affinity groups, religious groups, and cultural clubs on campus to support community members of various identities.
The school provides as much support as needed for students and student-athletes, regardless of gender identity. As stated in the Almanac, “Hotchkiss is a member of the Founders League, which supports the inclusion of transgender and gender-expansive students in athletics.” Furthermore, they “have access to facilities (restrooms, locker rooms, or changing rooms) consistent with their gender identity.”
Moving forward in the court case, the American Civil Liberties Union has pledged in a tweet to defend Miller and Yearwood.