A right to compete? A gender critical response
‘ANDRAYA YEARWOOD KNOWS SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO COMPETE’ by Mirin Fader. Dec 18, 2018
She is one of the fastest teens in Connecticut. So why do people not want her to run? Because this 17-year-old Black transgender girl represents what they are afraid of: no longer being the norm.
No. No one is saying Andraya must stop running. People are simply asserting fact and saying that as he is male he needs to run in male competitions. It is not the breaking of “the norm” that people are afraid of either. It is the unfairness and illogic of it that bothers the average person. It is not fair on girls and women to have boys and men allowed to compete in their sporting competitions.
There are people who do not want Andraya Yearwood to run. They are bothered by the sight of her. Angered by the thought of her.
This is hyperbolic and emotional without providing any evidence of the assertions. Maybe there are a few truly transphobic people around, but by and large critics of Andraya competing are angered by the disregard for the young women who will never be able to beat him. This characterising of people who disagree as monstrous bigots is ridiculous.
The black scrunchie on her wrist, the ponytail down her back. The steely stare she offers as coaches, parents and fans hurl insults toward her at track meets, not caring that she’s an earshot away.
The vitriol intrudes before races. Afterward. In her Instagram comments. They say she has a “biological advantage.” They say allowing her to run isn’t fair. They do not recognize her as a girl. They insist she is a boy — a boy who shouldn’t compete in the girls division.
Abuse is not okay. However, in this case the outrage and the objections are quite reasonable even if the delivery is not. Andraya does have a biological advantage. There is a plethora of scientific information out there that has been tested and proven showing the differences in female and male bodies in athletic potential. It is completely reasonable to say that Andraya should not compete in the girls division. He is male. People are “insisting” he is a boy because material reality, facts, science, logic, and anyone with decent eye sight say he is.
When Andraya is on the track, about to burst out of the blocks, she doesn’t hear this noise. Doesn’t feel it. She travels somewhere else.
“I don’t have to think,” she says.
So she zooms. Pumps her arms harder, moves her legs more quickly.
The 100-meter dash is where she shines most. The last two seasons, she finished second in the state open in the 100, with a time of 12.29 in 2018. In 2017, her freshman year, she won a Class M title in the 100 and finished second in the 100 at the New England High School Outdoor Track and Field Championships. “Unheard of” for a first-year, according to her coach, Brian Calhoun.
The poetic language and heroic narrative are a bit much. We are talking about a male student who sees nothing wrong with competing in the girls division despite everyone on the planet knowing he carries significant biological advantages.
And it seems a little lacking in self-awareness to start listing the “unheard of” achievements of the kid right after passive aggressively shaming those who have pointed out that his maleness gives him unique advantages. Of course it’s unheard of, he is a male in a female competition!
Now in her third year competing for Cromwell High School, in Cromwell, Connecticut, she feels unfazed. Confident. Probably more than she ever has. “Because they don’t want me to run, I have to run harder,” she says. “I want to go to nationals in order to prove them wrong, to be like, You guys don’t want me to run? But look, I qualified for nationals.”
What is he proving? Qualifying for nationals doesn’t disprove the theory he has an advantage. If anything it does the opposite. The first time I read this article it was this paragraph that made me begin to consider how much conditioning this kid must have gone through to not properly comprehend why so many people are angry at him running in the girls’ division. He has been taught there is nothing wrong with what he is doing and everyone who disagrees is a hater.
Andraya is a 17-year-old transgender girl. A Black transgender girl in a small town that is 90 percent Caucasian. A Black transgender girl in a world that is intent on policing and erasing girls like her.
She is perplexed by the lengths to which some people have gone to drill into her their underlying message: You’re free to be yourself, just not here. Over there. Not with us. Over there.
First of all, the central issue of this article is sex and gender so I will set aside the issues of race here. The assertion that the world is “policing and erasing” Andraya has not been supported at all in the article thus far and to be frank, the fact that as a male he has even been able to race in the girls’ division is evidence that he is far from erased.What has been erased is a fair and level playing field. The message (that is being ignored by race organisers anyway) isn’t that Andraya cannot be himself, the message is that it is a fact that he is male and so to run he must compete in the boy’s races.
When Andraya is on the track, about to burst out of the blocks, she doesn’t hear this noise. Doesn’t feel it. She travels somewhere else.
The noise has been loud since her freshman year, when an adult man, whom she had never met, posted a video about her on YouTube. He spoke furiously into the camera, calling for her competitors to boycott. He titled his video: “How to Stop Andraya Yearwood from Beating Girls for Three More Years!”
It hasn’t worked.
It is not an ideal situation to have grown men making YouTube videos about whether a young person should participate in sport or not, however, every other avenue that parents and other concerned adults have taken to discuss the issue has been shut down. The adults around Andraya and those who have made the decision to enable her competing have allowed the issue to escalate.
The sky is dark. Black-purple. On this Friday night in late November, the Connecticut snow is deep enough to sink a boot. Fresh sole imprints lead up to the bright red door of the home Andraya shares with her mother, Ngozi Nnaji.
Inside, Andraya is upstairs, tinkering with the white Christmas lights that hang above her bed. She’s wearing a bright yellow cold-shoulder crop top with black jeans ripped at her knees. Her nails are painted white with silver glitter on her ring fingers — she wants rhinestones next time. Her smile is warm but cautious. She replies “yes” instead of “yeah,” when answering questions. She tucks her braids behind her ears, nervously, every few minutes. She has a habit of doing this when talking to reporters: eager to say the right thing, afraid to say the wrong thing. Open and guarded all at once.
Ugh. Someone took a night class in creative writing. Stop. Stop it. Oh and we can see through your attempt to describe Andraya in stereotypically gendered ways. Tinkering and rhinestones do not a girl make. Neither do shyness and playing with one’s hair.
Back in June, she and her family appeared on Good Morning America in front of a national audience to speak about a petition that circulated to prevent transgender girls like Andraya from running in the girls division in Connecticut. Her voice was strong, firm. She encouraged other transgender girls to follow their hearts, to do what they want to do in life. What viewers couldn’t see was the pressure Andraya felt when speaking out and when being singled out. It seized her. Squeezed her too tight.
You mean, Andraya encouraged other boys to go out and take what they want regardless of the effect it will have on young girls. Just as the adults around him have enabled his entitlement and disregard for what is right, he too is attempting to enable others. The pressure he feels in these situations is natural. He is advocating for something the majority of the population know is wrong. His parents and the other adults who put him in front of the cameras and encourage this ideology are the ones responsible for this pressure.
Tonight, she is noticeably relaxed. As she looks out her window, she fantasizes about living somewhere far from here, about competing in college out of state. Maybe sunny California! Maybe even Mexico! Her voice brims with excitement. She loves airports and traveling. She’s in the process of learning 13 languages, including Portuguese, Italian, Albanian and American Sign Language. She’s taking AP Spanish. She is restless; the monotony of Cromwell, where she has lived since first grade, gets to her.
Impressive. I wonder how Andraya copes with the gendered European languages.
“In the school hallways, I just feel like a zombie,” she says.
Cromwell is a small town with one high school, one middle school, one intermediate school and one elementary school. There is a diner; a mall 20 minutes away (Andraya loves the mall); low-hanging streetlights coated in snow; a Dunkin’ Donuts every half-mile; and white, blue and cream New England brick houses, some of which have mailboxes out front for the Hartford Courant.
Blah blah blah
“She lives in a bubble,” Ngozi says.
Andraya feels protected and safe — happy, even, in her bubble. She is genuinely supported, buoyed by love as much as she is burdened by hate. Andraya’s father, Rahsaan, and Ngozi, who are divorced, have always accepted and loved their daughter. Andraya’s three brothers and one sister and best friends and coaches and classmates have too.
They see her as her: a determined teen (she longed to do backflips, so she taught herself how within weeks and now flips across pavement) who is also stubborn (Ngozi used to have to sprinkle hot sauce, a favorite, onto Andraya’s green peas because she refused to eat them), graceful (she is polite to her staunchest critics) and, above all else, highly motivated.
Love, acceptance, support, of course these are incredibly important in a family and for any teenager, however, sometimes how this is enacted can be a problem. Andraya should feel safe and should be free to be himself. Parents of gender non-conforming children should always encourage self-expression. This is where they should challenge norms. As a parent sometimes the kindest and best thing you can do is be honest though. Support your son and all his gender non-conforming uniqueness, don’t feed him the illusion that he is trapped in the wrong body. He is not entitled to compete in the girls’ division and it is wrong to frame this as an oppression. Support him to compete in the boys’ competition without compromising his personality and self-expression.
Ngozi and Rahsaan worry about what could happen when Andraya leaves Connecticut for college, if that’s what she chooses. The bubble — the many layers of protection they labored to build around her — could burst.
They won’t be able to control who she talks to, as they do now. They won’t be able to prevent physical harm, as they may think they can now.
Andraya is grateful that she feels comfortable, accepted and safe at school. So when the noise online roars too loudly, she can turn her Instagram to private. She can power off her phone. That gives her some feeling of control. Of distance.
But the threat is still close. Always close.
Every parent worries about these things, but there seems to be some kind of awareness from Andraya’s family that they have created a false reality and that this leaves him unprepared for a world that centres around shared facts and logic rather the feelings of individuals.
I can’t decide if the writer of this piece thinks they’re penning a noir thriller or they’re just shameless in their hyperbolic fear mongering. What threat is close? The threat of people who understand human biology? The threat of being prevented from cheating?
Before her race at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) 2018 State Open, Andraya walks over to retrieve her number near the starting line, where athletes gather before their heats. Only competitors and event staff are allowed there. Andraya comes upon two women. Parents from other schools, she presumes. They have their backs to her, so they do not know she is trailing closely behind.
“He shouldn’t be running!” one of the women says.
“I know!” the other says. “Why is he running on the girls’ team? HE IS A BOY!”
And then the two women turn around. They look at Andraya. She looks at them. It is as if months pass between blinks.
“Why are you on the team?!” one of the women shouts at Andraya. “Why are you here?!”
What the women are saying is reasonable. Should they be directing it a kid? No. Once again, it is the adults who have facilitated this that need to be held accountable for the furor it has caused and any confrontations Andraya has. Mothers of girls running against Andraya have a right to be angry. Their daughters are missing out on experiences and potential educational opportunities because Andraya is being allowed to compete.
Andraya feels something inside of her pounding. Fear. That’s what it is. A fear no longer dormant inside her. Shock, too. She is shocked that these women — these grown women — are brash enough to say these things to her, a teenage girl. Not over Instagram. Not over Twitter. To her face.
What’s to stop them from doing more? she thinks. In a matter of seconds, her brain begins the mental gymnastics of computing every potential scenario.
Their words could turn into actions.
“It was very scary, being in a position where someone could harm me at any given moment,” Andraya recalls. “Whenever they wanted to.”
The women don’t harm her, physically, but the moment causes Andraya to contemplate giving up running. “Do I want to keep doing this? Is it worth it? I don’t want to put myself in danger,” she says to herself.
Women don’t harm transgender people and especially not kids. I couldn’t find a single case of a woman assaulting a transwoman. This article is promoting a false narrative that places concerned women as potential attackers and Andraya as a helpless and endangered child. She is definitely at risk of further verbal confrontations and while I disagree with adults directing their frustration at a kid, words and disagreement are not violence. Telling young people they are violence serves only to develop severely anxious kids who are ill-equipped to deal with disagreement.
She finishes second. When she crosses the finish line, staff is there, like always, ready to escort her if needed. (The CIAC implemented a special protocol for Andraya.) Nobody knows about the encounter; nobody knows what Andraya heard before her race.
“It was very scary, being in a position where someone could harm me at any given moment. … I felt so numb.” — Andraya Yearwood
Andraya came second to another transgirl, Terry Miller. First and second of the girls’ division were won by males. Parents are quite reasonably angry.
Andraya has been told that people want to harm him. It is part of gender identity ideology. There is no assault or attempted attack on Andraya on public record and no public threats to harm; only demands to run in the appropriate sex class. Imagine feeding a kid fear of harm coming to them that is founded in no fact.
Some parents yell profanity at Andraya in the stands. A number of kids fire back.
“The kids began yelling back at them, ‘This is our meet, not yours. What’s wrong with her competing?’” says Karissa Niehoff, former CIAC executive director and current executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations. “They supported Andraya.”
Kids are literally being indoctrinated in schools to accept gender identity politics. Of course they support Andraya; they’ve had it drilled into them that not to do so would result in ostracism. They are losing out regardless.
Niehoff describes Andraya as typically handling herself with “consummate grace and class.” But the confrontation with the two women is a visceral reminder that Andraya experiences threats and challenges that those she competes with and against do not have to face.
“I felt so numb,” Andraya says. “I just didn’t feel like I should be the person doing this. … It was all too much.”
As she thinks through what’s happening, she imagines another transgender girl going through a similar confrontation. Or one much worse. She doesn’t want that to happen. She wants to help other girls, like her friend Terry Miller, another transgender girl in the area, who competes at a high school less than 30 miles away.
So Andraya makes a decision: keep running, keep sharing her story publicly.
Once again, baseless fear mongering. Also, the idea that the young women he competes against don’t face threats and challenges is insulting and patently false. Young women experience harassment and threats frequently online and in real life. The reality is that they face a great number of challenges that transwomen will never face.
As a child, she didn’t know what the word “transgender” meant. Neither did her family. They just knew what Andraya liked to wear, and they allowed her to wear whatever she wanted. As a first-grader, she had a pink, glittery Disney backpack that featured princesses Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty. She loved trying on her mom’s heels and wearing pink and purple fuzzy boots with little puffy pompoms on the front.
Every story about transgender children seems to centre around the very binary gender stereotypes feminism is supposed to dismantle. We have gone from saying “all girls must wear dresses” to “anyone wearing a dress is a girl”. This is not progressive. Liking pink, glitter, princesses, and high heels does not make a boy automatically become a girl. There is nothing wrong with a little boy who loves pink.
She started wearing wigs in seventh grade and skirts in eighth. Around that time, she told her parents she was gay. But later her therapist told her about transgender people, and that’s when she realized who she was. She just never had the language to describe it until then.
Andraya was fed the delusion that he could become female. He was fed a lie and he may just spend his whole life chasing it. Responsible parents and therapists would support the gender non-conforming gay boy by teaching him there is nothing wrong with him. Coaching him to deal with the inevitable challenges he would face and fighting on his behalf to educate the world that the clothes, toys, activities we like do not have any bearing on our sex.
“All along Andraya has been Andraya. It’s one of the things people need to understand,” says Coach Calhoun, who was also her eighth-grade language arts teacher. “This is not a phase. This is not a fad. This is not ‘trying something.’
“This is a person’s right to live their life as they truly believe they are.”
There is no doubt that Andraya is gender non-conforming and will likely always be but, like many other children who have been indoctrinated, he has been robbed of a chance to be completely true to himself. Any ideology which teaches children they must ‘change’ their sex, maim their bodies, commit to a lifetime dependency on pharmaceuticals, and ignore reality in order to “be themselves”, is intrinsically harmful.
Her parents embraced her, too. “There was nothing to it,” Rahsaan says. “Your child is your child.”
Ngozi felt the same way, but she was also concerned about Andraya’s safety and mental health. “My greatest fear is not that she’s transgender, but because of the lack of acceptance, that she becomes an addict, becomes suicidal, becomes victim to so many other things,” Ngozi says. “I just won’t allow that to happen.”
These are reasonable fears, but pushing your child further down the rabbit hole is not going to help this. Setting up a false and unattainable goal of complete transition of sex is setting Andraya up for eternal disappointment and desperation.
There were other concerns too, given that violence disproportionately affects transgender people of color — particularly women of color. The killing of transgender people is a national epidemic, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of the at least 26 transgender people who were shot or killed by violent means in 2018, 21 of them — 81 percent — were women of color. About 300 miles away, in Baltimore, a Black transgender woman named Tydi Dansbury was fatally shot, left to lay unconscious on the side of a street. Not to forget some of the other Black transgender women whose lives were cut short: Celine Walker. Tonya Harvey. Amia Tyrae Berryman. Antash’a English. Keanna Mattel…
“As a Black male with Black kids, you’re always worried about a time where a physical altercation could come up, regardless of who the instigator is,” Rahsaan says.
These statistics are trotted out regularly, however they fail to take into account that the transwomen killed around the world are overwhelmingly involved in prostitution. Take this out of the equation and transwomen living in stable families and environments like Andraya does are not at any additional risk of violence.
Andraya’s peers have been understanding. When she first told her close friends she was transgender in middle school, they were essentially like, OK, cool. You’re transgender. Can we go to the mall now? Most of Andraya’s schoolmates accepted that she was using the girls’ bathroom. Several teachers, however, did not. They complained to school administrators. The “solution” was to have Andraya use the bathroom in the nurse’s office. She was still not allowed to use the girls’ bathroom or girls’ locker room.
As already mentioned, children these days are indoctrinated in gender identity ideology and are unlikely to question it.
Good on the teachers! Look at them looking out for the wellbeing of their female students! The solution the school came up with is actually very pragmatic and considerate. They gave Andraya somewhere to use the bathroom and didn’t compromise the rights of other students. The framing of this as inadequate shows that trans activists will not be satisfied with anything except complete capitulation.
“I thought, If they let me wear what I want to wear and dress like a female, that’s enough. But it’s not,” she says. “It isn’t.”
He gets it. Andraya knows nothing will ever be enough because he will never be able to achieve actual femaleness. He has been failed by a society that couldn’t bring itself to accept him as he is.
When Andraya started high school, she and her family knew that she might run into opposition once she began competing. “We knew there might be some controversy,” Ngozi says. The strategy at first was to not necessarily be proactive. Let things happen. Let Andraya go about her business.
But as cameras showed up to meets and as articles began to be written, the family changed course. “We were like, ‘If there’s going to be a story, let it be a story that we tell,’” Ngozi says.
Andraya began giving interviews to local newspapers, asserting her right to compete. She shrugged off her critics as making a big deal out of her doing what she simply loves to do. She resisted being defined by their perceptions. Kept running as they kept trying to limit her. Those 12 seconds that she flies down the track for the 100 are only a fraction of who she is and who she wants to be. Her favorite event is actually the high jump. She loves the feeling she gets while flying into the unknown, letting the wind wrap around her as she sails through the air. For a brief moment, while airborne, she travels somewhere else. A place where she can just be herself.
It. Is. A. Big. Deal. By competing Andraya is robbing young women of opportunities to compete fairly, to receive accolades, to earn scholarships. It is not fair. This article is positing the young women and their families and advocates as the ‘bad guys’. They are within their rights to object to Andraya competing. He is not entitled to waltz into their competitions simply because he says he is a girl. This should not be up for debate.
In June, the petition began circulating. It called for athletes to run in the division based on the sex they were assigned at birth, unless the athlete had undergone hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
“It blew my mind,” says Andraya. “People really started a petition to not get me to run.”
That’s generous. Even after HRT male athletes have significant advantages over female athletes.
It is pretty self-absorbed to see a petition to establish rules around transgender athletes as a direct attack on himself. The petition also never demanded Andraya stop running. He simply does not want to run in the appropriate class.
Bianca Stanescu, a parent in the nearby town of Glastonbury, started the petition. “I’m fighting for the principle of it,” she says. Her daughter, Selina Soule, is a junior at Glastonbury High. Soule finished sixth in the 100-meter at the 2018 State Open. Stanescu contends that allowing a transgender girl to run in the girls division is an “injustice.” That doing so is to give “special treatment.” People like Andraya, she says, have a “biological advantage.”
Bianca Stanescu is correct. It is injust and special treatment. Bianca is a brave mother standing up for her daughter and other girls in the face of media like this painting her as a bigot.
There are a host of genetic factors that can give an athlete an advantage, such as fast and slow twitch fibers, height. Environmental and economic factors are at play, too, such as access to training facilities.
“A level playing field is a fallacy,” says Dr. Myron Genel, Yale professor emeritus of pediatric endocrinology. He is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission on issues regarding gender identity in athletics.
“There’s so many other factors that may provide a competitive advantage,” Genel says. “It’s very hard to single out sex as the only one.”
It is horrifying that Dr Genel is allowed anywhere the Olympics when he pedals such intellectually dishonest nonsense. In 1988, Flo Jo set the still unbeaten record of 10.49sec in the Women’s 100m race. No woman has beaten it in the 30 years since, but in 2017 alone 744 male athltetes ran 100metres in less than 10.49sec. This single example shows how vastly different male and female athletes are in capability; skeleton structure, muscle mass, bone density, testosterone levels, lung capacity are just some of the ways. Sex is the most crucial way to divide athletes because it is the delineation with the vastest disparity. Read more about the differences between male and female athletes here.
There is no proof that cisgender men are inherently more capable than cisgender women. According to an NCAA handbook called “Creating Positive & Inclusive Athletic Environments for Transgender Athletes,” the fear that “transgender women will be able to dominate women’s sports without effort due to the inherent advantages men have over women” is “a new iteration of the old stereotypes that kept women & girls out of sports prior to Title IX.”
There is a plethora of proof. See the link above for a start. It is negligent journalism to be so wilfully untruthful.
We are now starting to see the creeping dominance of transwomen in women’s sport. From the narcissistic transwoman Rachel McKinnon (who attacked lesbian sports icon Martina Navratilova recently) Women’s World Master’s Cycling Champion, NZ Women’s Weightlifting representative Laurel Hubbard, to the multi-code giant Hannah Mouncey, we are seeing large, advantaged males bullying their way into women’s sport.
Nationally, there are no uniform federal guidelines that dictate in which gender division transgender athletes must compete. Different states have different policies at the high school level. CIAC policy follows state statute; students are allowed to compete with the gender with which they identify. (HRT requirements are not included in CIAC policy.) However, Texas has a policy that only allows students to compete in the division of the sex on their birth certificates. Some states do not have policies at all.
“We’re still not necessarily, across the country, doing a great job of providing equality,” says Glenn Lungarini, CIAC’s executive director.
This is a new issue. It is only in the past decade that gender identity ideology has proliferated. Blanket international rules need to be developed to protect the rights and opportunities of women and girls.
At the NCAA level, transgender women may compete with cisgender women only after undergoing HRT for a year. (Ngozi declined to discuss whether Andraya has undergone HRT: “Her medical treatment doesn’t define whether she’s transgender or not,” Ngozi says.)
HRT does not negate male advantage anyway. That Andraya’s mother declines to answer and dismisses the question as if it is irrelevant demonstrates just how entrenched she is in her selfish perspective. It matters to all girls Andraya races against if she has had HRT. It matters to the fairness of sports. We cannot allow the interests of individuals to be put above entire classes of people.
Regardless, it is still difficult to quantitatively define what “fairness” in this context truly means. For example, fairness could be seen as following the rules. Stanescu told local affiliate WTNH News 8 in June that Andraya is “following the rules” and “doing nothing wrong,” since she is competing in accordance with CIAC policy. Then again, Stanescu wants to change the rules because she thinks they are unfair. She wants to prohibit transgender girls from competing against cisgender girls unless the former have completed HRT. Stanescu told WTNH that transgender girls who have not undergone HRT should be allowed to run against cisgender girls but have their times measured against cisgender boys. Of course, HRT has been shown to have effects beyond hormone levels, according to a study in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities. Researchers found that HRT resulted in physical changes to transgender women, which led to “a loss of speed, strength and endurance — all key components of athleticism.”
Once again, it is generous that Stanescu is simply asking for transgirls to have completed HRT as they still retain advantage even after the therapy. Although it reduces testosterone levels, they do not get anywhere as low as those of natal females.
Hence, the question then becomes: Who ultimately gets to experience “fairness”? And is that even the right question to be asking?
“There is a difference between what is right and what is fair, and people have to decide which side of the fence they want to be on,” says Robin McHaelen, executive director of True Colors, a Hartford-based nonprofit that provides services to LGBTQ youth.
“If she can’t play, we are denying her all of the other benefits of participating in team sports, the things that have nothing to do with winning and losing,” McHaelen says. “It has to do with developing teamwork, relationships, feeling like you belong, developing discipline.”
This is infuriating. Andraya can compete in the boy’s competitions and they can be taught to be accepting and inclusive of him. Women and girls have faced many obstacles in participating sports. Our competitions are hard fought; we did not have them handed to us on a plate. If young girls see that transgirls are dominating their competitions they will know they can never beat them. With none of the excitement and challenge of competing and without the incentives of scholarships the number of girls participating in sports will drop.
We need to stop pretending that we don’t all know that it is unfair. The strawman arguments and gaslighting cannot be indulged.
But like many of Andraya’s critics, Stanescu focuses on winning and opportunity instead. She argues that cisgender girls will no longer win races if they compete against transgender girls and that transgender girls are taking away scholarships from cisgender girls.
That train of thought falls in line with some of Andraya’s staunchest critics: Title IX advocates, who fought to give cisgender girls opportunity in sport. However, there is no evidence that transgender girls take away scholarships from cisgender girls. Andraya hasn’t received an offer yet.
As above. Andraya is opening the doors to other transgirls and then how many opportunities will be left for girls? Keep reading…the narrative changes.
Stanescu insists her petition is misunderstood as a personal attack on Andraya and Miller, on transgender girls in general: “It’s about the rule,” she says. “It’s not about them.”
But it is about them. Stanescu’s petition directly targets girls whose identities represent something some people are afraid of: no longer being the default, the norm.
Disagreement is not hate. Facts and logic are not personal attacks. Stanescu is being characterised as a bully unfairly. Once again the author is putting the controversies and issues down to people disliking people that are different. It is blatantly not the case, but they will continue to bring the argument back to this point so they can point the finger and call women like Stanescu mean bigots.
The truth is, Andraya doesn’t dominate. Not yet anyway. She has had success, but her 400 is still a work-in-progress. Her 100-meter times — including a 12.17 personal record — are just outside of major university marks. Coach Calhoun believes the mark is within reach. “It gives her something to compete for, something to strive for,” he says.
To improve her times, she’ll have to dig in. She’s relatively new to weightlifting. She recently learned how to squat. How to summon all of her strength. How to crouch lower and spring back up, over and over.
She’s always had the drive. She’s always been a fighter. A survivor.
You literally opened the article with “she is one of the fastest teens in Connecticut”. Pick a narrative. He is dominating competitions. He is beating actual girls.
Andraya was born extremely premature at 24 weeks. There were so many tubes connected to her tiny body, which weighed one pound, 12 ounces. She had to stay in the hospital for six months. When she was released, she went home on oxygen and a feeding tube.
“Every day, you didn’t know if she was going to survive,” Rahsaan says. “The doctor said if she survives this, she will do great things because this will be the toughest fight of her life.”
But the fight she is in now — a fight to be who she is — is in some ways just beginning.
Ugh. Christ. This is a really long article and I’m tired of all the nonsense. Andraya needs to CHANGE to be himself? It makes no sense.
Andraya takes a seat at the front of Askwith Hall at Harvard University. She’s been invited to speak on a November panel called “The Intersection of Gender Identity, Race and Student Support.”
She sits next to her mother onstage. She feels a little nervous but less than she has in the past. Once, she spoke at Wesleyan and was so nervous taking the stage in front of 100 students that she forgot to introduce herself.
This time, at Harvard, she feels more confident. Excited. Being at a university causes her mind to drift toward the future. She is receiving some recruiting interest from Harvard’s track coaches, in addition to those at UConn, Springfield College and West Point. “They want me,” she says. “They want me on their track team.”
REMEMBER HOW ANDRAYA WASN’T BEING APPROACHED BY UNIVERSITIES? Wow, I guess a lot changed in a few paragraphs because now Harvard, Springfield, and West Point are recruiting him.
Andraya is living a very privileged life. He is being invited to speak at prestigious universities and being offered a great deal of opportunities. Far more than the young girls whose competitions he has hijacked.
The thing is, Andraya would be an average competitor in the boy’s competition at best. Of course he and his family want him in the girl’s competition. He simply would not have the opportunities and accolades if he were not, but he is not entitled to them.
But the world outside of track? Far less accepting. Just the month before, in October, President Trump said his administration was considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, unchanging condition determined by the sex assigned at birth. This move is part of a larger concerted effort to rescind Obama-era policies that recognized and protected transgender people under federal civil rights law.
Andraya’s first thought was Why? Why are people so intent on erasing people like her?
“Just because the government erases the word ‘transgender,’ that doesn’t mean that we don’t exist,” she says. “That doesn’t mean that I’m not still transgender.”
Trump is a monumental idiot and morally bankrupt, however even a broken clock is right twice a day.
The writer of this piece clearly doesn’t understand the difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ because throughout they have been used interchangeably.
Sex = either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions and sex characteristics. It is biological.
Gender = either of the two sexes (male and female), considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. It is the stereotypes and personality traits we associate with the sexes.
So sex should always be restricted to biological definitions.
She brings a similar tone to Harvard. The panel’s moderator, Gretchen Brion-Meisels of the university’s Prevention Science and Practice Program, asks Andraya why she chooses to speak out.
“I’m here today to advocate for transgender individuals,” Andraya says, “and to allow them to be able to live in their truth without having to hide or be afraid.”
We are allowing children to be missionaries of their own purported suffering. Andraya thinks he can sell the dream of realising complete femaleness (without relinquishing male privilege) even though he has not achieved it and his parents’ deep anxiety shows they know he never will.
Ngozi still worries about how her daughter will be perceived in college, how she will be perceived when she enters spaces far less accepting than Cromwell. Rahsaan worries about the immediate future, how Andraya will be treated while in Morocco and Spain this summer.
Do they fear that he will realise the truth? They needn’t worry though. Western Universities have turned into po-mo gender identity politics ground zero.
Andraya thinks about all of this, too, but in this moment, at Harvard, she is focused purely on the moderator’s next question: How does it feel to be an activist? How does it feel to have a voice?
Something inside of Andraya stops cold.
Me? She thinks to herself. She had never thought of herself as an activist before.
Brion-Meisels offers a definition of an activist as someone who advocates on behalf of others.
Exactly. Andraya has never advocated for anyone other than himself and his interests. Given his age I place the blame for this squarely at the feet of the adults in his life.
Me, she thinks to herself, smiling. Me.
Me. Me. Me.