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These Girls Are Hurt by Transgender Competition

Salena Zito on

Alanna Smith's dedication to her sport is profound. Just listening to the elite high school track star explain her training schedule is exhausting. Yet no matter how hard she trains, if she has to compete against biological males, she stands no chance of winning.

"There is simply a biological advantage that males have over females," explained the daughter of baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Lee Smith.

"Here is a perfect example," Smith told me. "I have a twin brother who is an athlete but does not run competitively for his sports. We raced against each other recently, and he beat me. Not because he trained harder, but because there are biological and physical advantages boys have over girls in some sports."

Smith, who set high school and county records as a short-distance track runner the moment she stepped on the field as a freshman at Danbury High School in Connecticut, says when she turns up to compete against male runners who identify and compete as females, she knows the cards are stacked against her.

And it has nothing to do with not being prepared.

"It is frustrating. I spend all of that time training to compete against other girls, and I find myself losing to biological males," she said.

 

Since 2017, two males who identify as female have taken 15 women's state championship titles in Connecticut. Smith's frustration led her last February to join with two other elite Connecticut runners, Selina Soule and Chelsea Mitchell, to file a federal discrimination complaint against Connecticut's policy allowing transgender competition against females. The girls explained that the suit alleges the policy unfairly marginalized them and violated Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equal opportunities for females in education and school-based athletics.

On Inauguration Day, President Joe Biden issued an executive order saying a court case about transgender rights applies to Title IX, a federal education law that prevents discrimination based on sex. Elite female athletes such as Smith, Mitchell and Soule say Biden's pro-transgender order underscores their concerns.

Mitchell said she was ranked as the fastest girl in the 55-meter dash in Connecticut high school track in 2019. "Then I went to a high school competition, competing with two biological males who identify as girls," she said. "I really put my all into it, (but) I ultimately came in third, behind the both of them."

Soule said she missed an opportunity to qualify for the New England state championship in 2019 by one spot: "Both spots above me were taken by biological males."

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