High School Transgender Sprinters Stir Debate

Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood are sprinters for their high school track and field team in Connecticut. Miller and Yearwood share a couple of things in common: both dominate the rest of their opponents and both identify as transgender women. They compete in the Connecticut girls’ Class S indoor 55-meter dash. The dominance of Miller and Yearwood has recently stirred up debate among their opponents. Parents have thrown derogatory comments towards the athletes, expressing their strong opinion that the girls do not belong and should not be competing against their daughters, as their identity gives them an unfair advantage.

It has been reported that despite advances in gender equity over the past few decades, transgender athletes and coaches still face pervasive prejudice, transphobia, and heterosexism in sport. Many authors have pointed out that the majority of this stems from the innate unfairness in sport regarding transgender and transsexual athletes.

The article states that Connecticut is one of seventeen states that allows transgender high school athletes to compete before they’ve received gender reassignment surgery. This is just one example of a story in sport pertaining to the perception of an unfair advantage possessed by a transgender athlete.

“Trans girls should have the right to compete in sports. But cisgender girls should have the right to compete and succeed, too. How do you balance that? That’s the question.” – Joanna Harper (Medical physicist)

Sprinters Miller and Yearwood say they’ve learnt many lessons through their transition process, and they try to focus on the positive encouragement received from their fans and use the negativity to motivate themselves.


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