Connecticut parents are trying to prevent two transgender high school athletes from competing in the girls’ track and field competitions.
Terry Miller, a sophomore from Hartford's Bulkeley High School, and Andraya Yearwood, a sophomore from Cromwell High School, are transgender student athletes who compete on their high schools’ girls’ track and field teams.
Miller and Yearwood were victorious at the 100-meter race at the State Open Finals in early June after coming in first and second place, respectively, with Miller placing highest in the 200-meter dash, as well.
Some parents have responded to the girls’ victories with petitions to change the rules on state athletics. As the rules currently stand, students are allowed to compete on a school sports team based on their gender identity, instead of competing as the gender they were assigned at birth. The two petitions recently started would change that.
Some parents of other female track and field competitors believe Yearwood and Miller have a biological advantage over their fellow competitors.
"They have, naturally, testosterone within their body that has been proven to give a physical advantage in sports,” Bianca Stanescu said. Stanescu’s daughter lost to Yearwood and Miller at a track and field meet earlier this year; the mother's response was to start one of the two petitions. “The girl athletes are at the physical disadvantage compared to the transgender female."
However, both athletes are on estrogen therapy, which tends to replace lean muscle with fat.
"I was expecting it," Miller told ABC News of the negative responses she’s received for being a trans athlete. "Every day, I would go home, search up 'track and field high school Terry Miller.'"
Despite such backlash, Yearwood and Miller have expressed that they’ve been generally accepted and embraced from most people in their lives.
"I'm talking about raising a child for life, and so is it fair that that child is excluded?" Rahsaan Yearwood, Andraya’s father, said. "Is it fair that that child doesn't feel like they have a place they belong?”
Andraya’s mother, Ngozi Nnaji, voiced similar sentiments, adding that Andraya being able to compete on the girls’ track and field team “allows her to be who she wants to be.”
Both girls have expressed that they are able to drown out the negative comments made online. "I'm not affected by it at all," Yearwood said. "I just roll my eyes and keep pushing."
Yearwood has been training to reach her goal of qualifying for nationals in outdoor and indoor track next year. Miller has also expressed a desire to qualify for nationals next year, as well as a hope to inspire trans youth.