ESPN: Complaint targets transgender HS track athletes

Christian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,972
Here we go again.

Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships.

The complaint, filed Monday with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, was submitted by the law firm Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the girls, who are asking for an investigation of the policy and orders that would make competitions fair. The complaint also cites the federal Title IX rules aimed at equal rights in sports for female athletes.

"Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field," said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. "Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls' sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn't force these young women to be spectators in their own sports."
Lungarini added that CIAC reviewed the language with the Office of Civil Rights in Boston to ensure compliance with Title IX and discussed the policy with Connecticut's Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

"I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent," Terry Miller, one of the two transgender athletes identified in the complaint, told The Courant. "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."

Miller, along with Andraya Yearwood, the other athlete identified in the complaint, is working with the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I have known two things for most of my life," Yearwood said in a statement to The Courant. "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 am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me. That is what keeps me going."

The national ACLU staff attorney, Chase Strangio, called the situation "heartbreaking" in a statement to the Courant on Wednesday.
"Efforts to undermine Title IX by claiming it doesn't apply to a subset of girls will ultimately hurt all students," Strangio said in the statement.

The argument that gender identity amounts to an unfair advantage in sports is a recurring one in the complex debate around intersex and transgender athletes as they break barriers in sports around the world from high school to the pros.

Earlier this week, Olympic running sensation Caster Semenya won an interim ruling in her battle against track and field's governing body. The Swiss supreme court ordered the suspension of regulations that would require female runners with unusually high testosterone to take medication to reduce their levels of the male sex hormone if they want to compete in certain events.

The complaint from Connecticut says transgender girls have been consistently winning track and field events and the policy violates federal protections for female athletes.
Connecticut is one of at least 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country.
Source

So, apparently, two “boys” are keeping all the “real girls” in Connecticut from getting scholarships because they have an unfair advantage. I feel so bad for the young women that are thrust into the spotlight like this, when all they want to do is run track.
 
Guidelines surrounding trans athlete discussions.

Volimar

Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
10,781
Reminder for all threads concerning issues like this

Official Staff Communication
There is a study by Joanna Harper on transgender runners' performance versus cisgender runners' performance that was published in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities in 2015. This was the first-ever-study of transgender athletes, according to the Washington Post. The study showed that as testosterone levels approach female norms, trans women experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.

The aforementioned study has become the basis of the IOC's guidelines on transgender athletes:

In 2015, IOC invited Harper to attend its Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism held in Lausanne, Switzerland. After 3 days, the panel of scientists and physicians converged on revised rules for transgender competitors, including at least 1 year of hormone replacement therapy for female competitors, rather than the 2 years previously required. That change was a nod to Harper's personal transition experience and to research published in 2004 in the European Journal of Endocrinology showing that the testosterone levels—and therefore performance—of 19 transgender women stabilized after 12 months of hormone therapy. The revised IOC policy also lifted the requirement for sex reassignment surgery. That decision was a long time coming, Harper says. "What your genitals are doesn't make a difference."
You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

You can also read about Joanna Harper and the research involved in Science Magazine.

There are also additional studies that corroborate the first. As mentioned in this article in Cosmos Magazine:

...a Dutch study in the European Journal of Endocrinology, which found that within a year after gender-reassignment surgery, trans women had testosterone and haemoglobin levels no higher than their female-born compatriots. That’s important because high testosterone is associated with masculine levels of muscle mass and strength, while high haemoglobin is associated with greater aerobic capacity and therefore speed.
You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

Another study, called Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies, was published in 2017:

Currently, there is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition (e.g. cross-sex hormones, gender-confirming surgery) and, therefore, competitive sport policies that place restrictions on transgender people need to be considered and potentially revised.
You can read the full study for yourself here.

To be clear, there aren't many studies on this currently, but this is the best data available on the subject. By contrast, there is no scientific (peer-reviewed) case to support excluding transgender athletes from competitive sports. For these reasons we are not interested in entertaining the latter here. Concern posts about transgender athletes having a genetic advantage, or claiming the same, will be treated as transphobia and moderated accordingly. This policy has proven to be the best way to curb misinformation and improve the quality of discussion. It applies to all relevant topics and threads.

If you have questions about this modpost or policy, please contact one of our mod captains (B-Dubs, Mist, Hecht, Finale Fireworker). Thank you.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,790
I mean I think it gets tricky when scholarships and “money is involved”. Even if there’s no actual advantage you’d get complaints and lawsuits filed I’d assume
 
OP
OP
Christian

Christian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,972
Reminder for all threads concerning issues like this

Official Staff Communication
There is a study by Joanna Harper on transgender runners' performance versus cisgender runners' performance that was published in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities in 2015. This was the first-ever-study of transgender athletes, according to the Washington Post. The study showed that as testosterone levels approach female norms, trans women experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.

The aforementioned study has become the basis of the IOC's guidelines on transgender athletes:


You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

You can also read about Joanna Harper and the research involved in Science Magazine.

There are also additional studies that corroborate the first. As mentioned in this article in Cosmos Magazine:


You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

Another study, called Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies, was published in 2017:


You can read the full study for yourself here.

To be clear, there aren't many studies on this currently, but this is the best data available on the subject. By contrast, there is no scientific (peer-reviewed) case to support excluding transgender athletes from competitive sports. For these reasons we are not interested in entertaining the latter here. Concern posts about transgender athletes having a genetic advantage, or claiming the same, will be treated as transphobia and moderated accordingly. This policy has proven to be the best way to curb misinformation and improve the quality of discussion. It applies to all relevant topics and threads.

If you have questions about this modpost or policy, please contact one of our mod captains (B-Dubs, Mist, Hecht, Finale Fireworker). Thank you.
Thanks for reposting this. I was trying to find it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,263
I mean, this was coming, one way or the other. And in this case, do we even have any idea of whether these young women have gone through any HRT or gender re-assignment? Article really doesn't specify
 

GodofWine

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,608
I didn't see it, and saw this story earlier, is there any mention as to where in the process of being MtF they are?

Because thats pretty important here.
 

Slaylock

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Oct 27, 2017
55
User Banned (Permanent): Posting a link to a transphobic opinion piece, account in junior phase
mod edit: link removed
 
Last edited by a moderator:

joeygreco1985

Member
Oct 27, 2017
446
I didn't see it, and saw this story earlier, is there any mention as to where in the process of being MtF they are?

Because thats pretty important here.

Seconded. I understand that IOC study refers to 12 months of therapy, it would be useful to know if the runners were past that mark at some point during the season.
 

Burrman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,073
This seems to be happening a lot lately. I feel this is like the 5th thread on a similar situation since ERA started.
 

Deleted member 15848

User requested account closure
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User Banned (Permanent): Transphobia, previous severe infraction related to transphobia
I'm all for trans athletes competing but I'm just curious as to why we never hear about trans males dominating in their respective sports? It's always trans women who seem to excel once they make the transition.

Also, there's no restrictions for trans athletes in Connecticut. So if I'm understanding that correctly trans girls could compete without having to undergo HRT. Which IMO would definitely put bio girls at an disadvantage if that's the case.
 

Juna

Member
Nov 26, 2017
50
These states don't require HRT for highschool students to participate, since often these students simply do not have access. And they judged that including trans girls in sports is more important than their performance. The same is not true for adult trans athletes.

For one you don't hear about trans woman dominating their sport, because that's something that hasn't ever happened Dibs. They have won some competitions in rare cases which always becomes big news. And the reason why you don't hear about trans men winning things is mostly because no one reports it. Sometimes people just assume that a trans athlete must be a woman. Like for the boy that wanted to wrestle with other boys, but was forced to wrestle with the girls instead.
 

GodofWine

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,608
Seconded. I understand that IOC study refers to 12 months of therapy, it would be useful to know if the runners were past that mark at some point during the season.
For SPORTS, I think it needs to be mandated to be allowed (cause if not, you are opening up for legal issues from natural female athletes). If its just based on what gender you identify as (which for me is enough for non-sports stuff) , it gets pretty easy to manipulate, and thats the issue. Even without regular testing, it can be easy to manipulate (no different ,in theory, than a male athlete using steroids and knowing when he would be tested, and just timing doses).

Its complicated, but to work, drama free, there needs to be STRICT rules for athletes.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,992
Connecticut is one of at least 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions
This is a legitimate issue if competitors who aren't on HRT are allowed to compete on the women's side at the high school level. Having been on HRT for some amount of time is a baseline non-negotiable norm at higher levels of competition because of how massive a difference testosterone makes w/ physical athletic performance. Before puberty hits, baseline hormone levels for kids of all sexes/genders are roughly the same - you don't need rules like that in place for younger kids. High School is definitely going to be a point where all the kids are past that point though, and the rules should be reflecting that. They almost certainly don't need to be as thorough as they are at the Olympic level and such, but a complete lack of them is going to inevitably lead to pushback.
I'm all for trans athletes competing but I'm just curious as to why we never hear about trans males dominating in their respective sports? It's always trans women who seem to excel once they make the transition.

Also, there's no restrictions for trans athletes in Connecticut. So if I'm understanding that correctly trans girls could compete without having to undergo HRT. Which IMO would definitely put bio girls at an disadvantage if that's the case.
It's because baseline female sex hormone levels are a massive disadvantage to someone competing in male sports. Someone transitioning to a male gender is generally not going to be able to be competitive in most sports without the HRT.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,740
North Carolina
I agree that its kinda unfair for someone to compete having not undergone HRT. Thats a MASSIVE advantage. These transgender women should 100% be able to play with other women, though. Its a growing pain for sure. For me? Its highschool, yeah there are scholarships or whatever but you ain't guaranteed one even for winning first in shit. ALSO:

Allowing boys to compete in girls' sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn't force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.
What the fuck is this shit???
 

Juna

Member
Nov 26, 2017
50
Is there even a single trans girl that got a sport scholarship competing with other girls?
 

metalslimer

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,922
Ok while there is certainly a legitimate issue if you can compete without HRT to actually balance the field, that statement makes me not feel a shred of sympathy for these people. Fuck off
 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,395
Hm. If they're not required to be on hormones, I can understand the fairness issues involved. Will be interesting to see how this gets ruled on. Following ioc guidelines seems like a good compromise.
 

TheLostBigBoss

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,590
Connecticut is one of at least 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country.
This is where issues come into play if students post-puberty who identify as trans opt to compete in the sport/team of their gender without HRT.

But even then, the obvious issue comes into play that you're dealing with states, parents, general public that find the idea of giving HRT to "kids" horrifying and immoral, which means that anyone who wants to do sports while being out as trans and can't take HRT would be fucked.

This is the one case where this situation is shitty because there is obvious potential grievances that are legitimate if non-HRT trans teens can simply start taking the sports of their identified gender, although their transphobic rhetoric in the article is fucking gross.

Also article doesn't mention some things


First, Miller and Yearwood aren’t “beating everyone.”

Yearwood finished seventh in the 200-meter. Five girls, other than Miller, beat her in that race.

Miller, in addition to her two big wins, also ran the 400-meter and finished fourth.

Both of these trans girls were beaten by cisgender girls at the state meet.

The idea that they are unbeatable, or that any advantage they may experience as trans athletes is “unfair,” are undermined when you look beyond the headlines of state titles and records.
I would rather deal with some potential "unfairness" for now than deny trans students the right to play in their desired sports. The narrative that trans athletes are endlessly smashing records is just transphobic rhetoric that needs to be ignored, while still understanding that there are valid issues that need to be tackled as we keep going forward.
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,895
I'm all for trans athletes competing but I'm just curious as to why we never hear about trans males dominating in their respective sports? It's always trans women who seem to excel once they make the transition.

Also, there's no restrictions for trans athletes in Connecticut. So if I'm understanding that correctly trans girls could compete without having to undergo HRT. Which IMO would definitely put bio girls at an disadvantage if that's the case.
Because honestly it seems no one cares about trans men

It's probably me but the only time I hear people talk about trans people it's always trans women never trans men

Even the bathroom shit was focus on trans women
 

DrKelpo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,637
Germany
The complaint from Connecticut says transgender girls have been consistently winning track and field events.
That seems to be a standard argument in discussions on this topic. Is this even remotely true?
People arguing against the inclusion always make it sound like every time a transgender athlete participates in a tournament he/she automatically wins.
 

BigGreenMat

Member
Nov 2, 2017
14
I don't think there is a right or perfect answer for cases like this. I am glad I am not a judge. I want kids to be able to participate and compete, so I would lean that direction. I would also give recruiters some credit to look at your times and know if you have the goods to make it at the next level too. This is just going to get more and more contentious an area as our knowledge increases and we can verify more traits more accurately. The Semanya case is just the tip of the iceberg.
 

TheLostBigBoss

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,590
Because honestly it seems no one cares about trans men

It's probably me but the only time I hear people talk about trans people it's always trans women never trans men

Even the bathroom shit was focus on trans women
Because the social stigma that trans women are just sexual deviants who are masquerading as women is so deeply woven in the social consciousness that any time there is the topic of trans women in anything, that concept is automatically introduced on some level.

For sports, it's the idea that it's a guy dressing as a girl to win
For bathrooms, it's a pervert who is claiming to be a women so they can potentially molest people and ogle women

It's the same concept but presented in different ways depending on the topic.

That seems to be a standard argument in discussions on this topic. Is this even remotely true?
People arguing against the inclusion always make it sound like every time a transgender athlete participates in a tournament he/she automatically wins.
no
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,210
Brazil
Yeah without being sure if the kids are already on puberty blockers or whatever is hard to make a proper judgement except for knowing that banning is never the answer
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,263
That seems to be a standard argument in discussions on this topic. Is this even remotely true?
People arguing against the inclusion always make it sound like every time a transgender athlete participates in a tournament he/she automatically wins.
Someone posted an article above and it seems like they have won big in some events and lost in others.

Recently, at the Connecticut state championships, Miller set Connecticut state open meet records in the girls 100-meter and 200-meter races en route to two state titles.

Miller, a sophomore, has added two New England regional championships to her trophy case, for both the 100-meter and 200-meter.

Yearwood, also a sophomore, finished second in the 100-meter at the state meet, losing only to Miller.
Yet when you look a little deeper, there’s more to the story.

First, Miller and Yearwood aren’t “beating everyone.”

Yearwood finished seventh in the 200-meter. Five girls, other than Miller, beat her in that race.

Miller, in addition to her two big wins, also ran the 400-meter and finished fourth.

Both of these trans girls were beaten by cisgender girls at the state meet.
THAT SAID, this is talking about a state meet, so they must have won the events on their way there so it may be a matter of framing.
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,895
I will say ignoring the disgusting bigotry the kids should at least be on puberty blockers
 

SamWilson

Alt account
Banned
Mar 14, 2019
217
The study showed that as testosterone levels approach female norms, trans women experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.
Concern posts about transgender athletes having a genetic advantage, or claiming the same, will be treated as transphobia and moderated accordingly.
Pardon the question, but doesn't that first part of the mod post contradict, in a way, the 2nd part?

The study showed that transitioning athletes who reduced their testosterone were then on an equal playing field to cisgender athletes.

What about non-transitioning trans athletes who have not begun to reduce their testosterone through blockers? I read the linked study, and unfortunately they did not seem to test this at all.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,210
Brazil
Someone posted an article above and it seems like they have won big in some events and lost in others.

THAT SAID, this is talking about a state meet, so they must have won the events on their way there so it may be a matter of framing.
The problem is that even if there was 300% no advantage of any kind (like every girl is an identical clone from birth), it would still be possible for one to won most of the runs and if she happened to be the one with the shirt written trans, people would still blame it on reasons
 

Josh378

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,330
Serious question, should there be some sort of test that allows transgender girls through testosterone levels to allow them to compete with females classes or not? Just trying to find a middle ground that will avoid fighting and lawsuits all over the place.
 
Oct 28, 2017
696
What the fuck is this shit???
A quick google reveals that the 'Alliance Defending Freedom' is a Christian-Right legal advocacy organisation which is designated as a hate group by the SPLC:


While this is a very complicated issue in general, I would be extremely wary of this organisation's rhetoric.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,210
Brazil
Pardon the question, but doesn't that first part of the mod post contradict, in a way, the 2nd part?

The study showed that transitioning athletes who reduced their testosterone were then on an equal playing field to cisgender athletes.

What about non-transitioning trans athletes who have not begun to reduce their testosterone through blockers? I read the linked study, and unfortunately they did not seem to test this at all.
Pretty much every serious sports organization have rules that limit hormones even on cis women, so it is not a contradiction to say that trans women with certain hormone levels poses no advantage. "She has not begun using blockers" will never appear in serious sports discussion because using it is the standard
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,740
North Carolina
A quick google reveals that the 'Alliance Defending Freedom' is a Christian-Right legal advocacy organisation which is designated as a hate group by the SPLC:


While this is a very complicated issue in general, I would be extremely wary of this organisation's rhetoric.
Well shit, fuck 'em!
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,723
Southern California
Reminder for all threads concerning issues like this

Official Staff Communication
There is a study by Joanna Harper on transgender runners' performance versus cisgender runners' performance that was published in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities in 2015. This was the first-ever-study of transgender athletes, according to the Washington Post. The study showed that as testosterone levels approach female norms, trans women experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.

The aforementioned study has become the basis of the IOC's guidelines on transgender athletes:


You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

You can also read about Joanna Harper and the research involved in Science Magazine.

There are also additional studies that corroborate the first. As mentioned in this article in Cosmos Magazine:


You can read the full study for yourself here. (Warning: this does open a PDF document!)

Another study, called Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies, was published in 2017:


You can read the full study for yourself here.

To be clear, there aren't many studies on this currently, but this is the best data available on the subject. By contrast, there is no scientific (peer-reviewed) case to support excluding transgender athletes from competitive sports. For these reasons we are not interested in entertaining the latter here. Concern posts about transgender athletes having a genetic advantage, or claiming the same, will be treated as transphobia and moderated accordingly. This policy has proven to be the best way to curb misinformation and improve the quality of discussion. It applies to all relevant topics and threads.

If you have questions about this modpost or policy, please contact one of our mod captains (B-Dubs, Mist, Hecht, Finale Fireworker). Thank you.
Thank you. We transgender folx have been point out these facts for years. I enthusiastically support the mods' stance on this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,263
The problem is that even if there was 300% no advantage of any kind (like every girl is an identical clone from birth), it would still be possible for one to won most of the runs and if she happened to be the one with the shirt written trans, people would still blame it on reasons
If every woman was a clone at birth, none of this would be an issue at all. It is because we are all different and our differences range from obvious to extremely subtle that this topic is such a difficult and complex one.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,992
Because honestly it seems no one cares about trans men

It's probably me but the only time I hear people talk about trans people it's always trans women never trans men

Even the bathroom shit was focus on trans women
In the instances specifically related to sports the ones not related to the problematic reasons are because a high level cis male athlete will outperform high level cis female athletes of the same age most of the time because of the gigantic benefits provided by testosterone. I'm going to pull this out just as an example from my state's track finals this year- All but one of the boys ran faster than the fastest girl in the 100M, and all of the boys ran faster than the fastest girl in every other distance category for running.

In most others (and mixed into the sports ones) its a lot of our screwed up gender norms, stereotypes, misogyny, etc. influencing everything. The whole predator/prey mindset laid out in Serano's "Why Nice Guys Finish Last" is very, very real. There was an awful case in Texas where they wouldn't let a trans male athlete compete against boys and forced him into the girls division (which neither he nor his competitors wanted!) because of this type of crap.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,210
Brazil
Serious question, should there be some sort of test that allows transgender girls through testosterone levels to allow them to compete with females classes or not? Just trying to find a middle ground that will avoid fighting and lawsuits all over the place.
Yes, it would be ideal to make the testosterone levels to be within the acceptable levels for girls of their age. But that would be ideal even if they were not competing =P
The problem is that christians organiations would backflip even harder with this option because drugging children xD

If every woman was a clone at birth, none of this would be an issue at all. It is because we are all different and our differences range from obvious to extremely subtle that this topic is such a difficult and complex one.
My post was more of a "even if the kids didn't had a single genetic/biologic/hormonal/magic advantage, there would still be possible to have that track record and the parents would still find a way to complain"
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,263
My post was more of a "even if the kids didn't had a single genetic/biologic/hormonal/magic advantage, there would still be possible to have that track record and the parents would still find a way to complain"
That's fair, parents are rarely rational when they believe a child's future is in jeopardy
 

Dead Man

Member
Nov 1, 2017
266
The problem is tying educational opportunities to sporting success, not a few girls beating others in a race.