HARTFORD, Conn. — The ACLU responded to a lawsuit filed today challenging trans-inclusive practices in Connecticut. The lawsuit has been filed against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards and specifically names Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, two transgender student athletes. The ACLU will be seeking to join this lawsuit and defend the interest of trans student athletes.

Statement from Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project:

“Today’s complaint filed in Connecticut targeting the inclusion of transgender girls in girls’ athletics and specifically naming Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood is a dangerous distortion of both law and science in the service of excluding trans youth from public life. The purpose of high school athletics is to support inclusion, build social connection and teamwork, and help all students thrive and grow. Efforts to undermine Title IX by claiming it doesn’t apply to a subset of girls will ultimately hurt all students and compromise the work of ending the long legacy of sex discrimination in sports.

“Additionally, the language of the complaint, which deliberately misgenders transgender youth and demands that high school athletics be organized by chromosomes, is an assault on the basic dignity and humanity of transgender people and a threat to the privacy and equality of all students.”

Statement from Terry Miller, student athlete:

“I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent. 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. Living in a state that protects my rights is something that I do not take for granted. So many young trans people face exclusion at school and in athletics and it contributes to the horrible pain and discrimination that my community faces. The more we are told that we don’t belong and should be ashamed of who we are, the fewer opportunities we have to participate in sports at all. And being an athlete can help us survive. But instead, we are being told to be quiet, to go home, to stop being who we are. I will continue to fight for all trans people to compete and participate consistent with who we are. There is a long history of excluding Black girls from sports and policing our bodies. I am a runner and I will keep running and keep fighting for my existence, my community, and my rights.”

Statement from Andraya Yearwood, student athlete:

“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. It is so painful that people not only want to tear down my successes, but take down the laws and policies that protect people like me. I will never stop being me! I will never stop running! I hope that the next generation of trans youth doesn't have to fight the fights that I have. I hope they can be celebrated when they succeed not demonized. For the next generation, I run for you!”

Additional Background:

Statement of Women’s Rights and Gender Justice Organizations in Support of Full and Equal Access to Participation in Athletics for Transgender People
https://www.aclu.org/letter/statement-womens-rights-and-gender-justice-organizations-support-full-and-equal-access

Blog from the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and LGBT & HIV Project: Banning Trans Girls From School Sports Is Neither Feminist Nor Legal
https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/banning-trans-girls-school-sports-neither-feminist-nor-legal

Op-Ed by Katrina Karkazis: Stop talking about testosterone – there’s no such thing as a ‘true sex’
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/06/testosterone-biological-sex-sports-bodies

Transphobia’s New Target Is the World of Sports
https://www.thenation.com/article/trans-runner-daily-caller-terry-miller-andraya-yearwood-martina-navratilova/

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