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Q21. Do We Have Any Data On The Impact Of Males Who Identify As Transgender With No Medical Intervention In Girls’ High School Sports?

A21. Yes. The data that exists about males who identify as transgender with no medical intervention is consistent with the fact that they are biologically male. For example, based on its interpretation of the State of Connecticut’s Equality Act, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletics Conference (CIAC) permits transgirls to compete in girls’ events even if they have not yet gone on puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones. (The CIAC places no physical or physiological conditions on their inclusion in girls’ sports.) Two males who identify as transgender who used to compete on their schools’ boys’ track teams moved to the girls’ teams when they came out as transgender. They immediately dominated their events at their conference, state, and regional competitions, even though their performances would have been insufficient to qualify them for post-season competition had they competed in the boys’ divisions. And although they started competing in girls’ events before they began taking gender-affirming hormones, they continued to be among the best in the girls’ events even after they publicly stated they had started on puberty blockers and hormones. All told, just these two males who identify as transgender took “15 girls’ state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut female athletes) and . . . more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons.”[1]

T MILLER – SPRINTS55 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors

Miller, one of the males who identify as transgender, competed on the boys’ track team her freshman year and through the winter of her sophomore year. She came out publicly as transgender in the middle of 10th grade, and then switched to the girls’ team for her remaining two-and-a-half years of eligibility. 

Her hormone status for each season is derived from publicly available information.[2] Because that information indicates she went on hormones for the first time only at the end of the 2019 outdoor season, i.e., sometime in May, and because her best time that year was run before then, she is listed here as “not on hormones” for the year.

The table shows rankings for the 55 meters indoors first, followed by the 100 meters outdoors. The rankings in blue font show the division she actually competed in, and the point at which she switched from the boys’ to the girls’ division. Simply by walking off of the track in the boys’ events and walking onto the track in the girls’ events, she went from barely being in the top 400 in the state boys’ interscholastic competitions to being #1 in the state among girls’ interscholastic competitions.

The girls’ competition rankings for her 9th grade year are those she would have achieved based on her times as run in boys’ events. The boys’ rankings for her sophomore, junior, and senior years are those she would have achieved based on her times as run in girls’ events. There were no rankings for the 100 meters outdoors her 12th grade year (2020) because the season was cancelled due to COVID.

A YEARWOOD – SPRINTS – 55 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors

Yearwood, the other male who identifies as transgender, competed on the girls’ team all four years in high school. She came out publicly as transgender in the 9th grade. Her hormone status for each season is derived from publicly available information.[3] The table shows rankings for the 55 meters indoors first, followed by the 100 meters outdoors. The boys’ competitions rankings listed on the table are those she would have achieved based on her times run in girls’ events. There were no rankings for the 100 meters outdoors her 12th grade year (2020), because the season was cancelled due to COVID. 

We don’t have statistics on the number of males who identify as transgender who have competed in girls’ events in high school sports. However, it appears that, at least in the past, most were already on gender-affirming hormones by the time they sought to participate on girls’ teams; transgender advocacy groups seems generally to assume that this is the case when they speak to the issue. However, we are at a juncture in history where males who identify as transgender who are not on hormones are just beginning to ask to be included in girls’ competitions and state laws mandate their inclusion. In part this is because the standard of care in transgender medicine now recommends that transkids “come out” socially before they transition medically; and many physicians now require that kids wait until they are 16 to go on gender-affirming hormones. For a male who identifies as transgender, going out for a girls’ school sports team is one way to come out socially. We are thus increasingly likely to face situations like that in Connecticut where males who identify as transgender seek to compete in girls’/women’s sport while not on hormones.

[1] Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages, Seoule et al. v. CIAC, Case No. 3:20-cv-00201, paragraph #77, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Feb. 12, 2020). These results are limited to conference, state and regional championships. They do not include all of the regular season or invitational events at which opportunities to move on through competitions to finals and/or wins and podium spots were affected.

[2] See, e.g., Beyond the Labels: Meet Terry Miller, Runner’s Space.com, May 26, 2019, available at https://www.runnerspace.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=44531&do=news&news_id=576791 (implying that Miller attended NSAF Nationals as a spectator not a competitor in her junior year, 2019, because she was not eligible to compete there due to the NSAF’s eligibility policy, which mirrored that of USATF, the NGB, not the CIAC, and Miller herself suggesting that she began taking hormones only in the latter part of that same year).

[3] See, e.g., Jeff Jacobs, As We Rightfully Applaud Yearwood, We Must Acknowledge Many Questions Remain, Hartford Current, June 17, 2017, available at https://www.courant.com/sports/hc-jacobs-column-yearwood-transgender-0531-20170530-column.html (reporting that Yearwood’s father “said his daughter will begin consultations in June [2017] about hormonal treatment”). That was at the end of 9th grade. The fact that she competed at NSAF Nationals in 11th grade (March 2019) means that she was on hormones in 10th grade since their eligibility policy requires that transgender athletes be on gender-affirming hormones with their level below 5 nmol/L for 12 months before being eligible to compete in their events and then throughout their competitive seasons.