- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2018

Some Connecticut parents are crying foul after two transgender high school athletes took home state titles in girls track and field earlier this month.

High school sophomores Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood came in first and second place, respectively, in the 100-meter race at the State Open finals on June 4. Both sophomores were born male, but identify as female.

Parents are now circulating two petitions demanding the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) make a policy change to level the playing field for cisgender girls, the Hartford Courant reported.

“I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Opens and New Englands [competitions],” high school sophomore Selina Soule, who finished sixth in the 100-meter State Open final, told the Courant. “These girls, they’re just coming in and beating everyone. I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl.”

One of the petitions was drafted by Selina’s mother, Bianca Stanescu — the other by Jarmaine Lee, a father of two Plainville boys runners, the Courant reported. They want a policy change mandating that athletes compete in sports based on their gender at birth, unless the athlete has undergone hormone therapy.

The CIAC, which governs high school sports, currently allows athletes to compete in sports based on the gender they identify with. The organization said Connecticut law would have to be changed before it could alter its policy.

“The elephant in the room is when winning and losing comes into play,” CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff told the Courant. “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.

“We live in a world that should embrace everybody,” Ms. Niehoff said. “It’s tough enough to be a kid as it is, without bullying, regardless of what you identify as. It’s a cruel world we live in. But now it’s more about, ‘I’m coming in here and succeeding,’ which is great. But, wait, where did you come from? How did this happen? We live in a win and lose society and there are only so many opportunities you have to compete at the highest level whatever level you get to. And that’s what rankles people.”

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