Trans middle schooler wins state titles
A transgender middle school student who was added to the female track team earlier this year has won two state titles.
Andraya Yearwood previously ran for the male track team at Cromwell High School, Connecticut, but since she came out as trans, school officials in April allowed her to join the female track team.
The school district previously supported Yearwood through her decision to transition, and has gone further to allow her to compete in girls’ sports teams.
Yearwood has now won a double state title in the 100 and 200 meters.
“Once we identified that she was transgender, a weight lifted off her shoulders,” Yearwood’s mother told the Hartford Courant.
“She’s been engaging in so many different things and so confident about what she is doing that she is almost a totally different person. And that’s what you want to see as a parent: a child that is confident and loves herself.”
“I know they’ll say it is unfair and not right, but my counter to that is: Why not?” her mother said.
“She is competing and practicing and giving her all and performing and excelling based on her skills. Let that be enough. Let her do that, and be proud of that.”
Unlike in other instances, there have been no objections to the change in teams.
Brian Calhoun, the track team’s coach said there had been no issues.
“She has just been a member of the team running hard day in and day out,” Calhoun said.
“It has been like every other athlete. We have a girl on the team who runs pretty quickly. And I think the girls are pretty happy to have a girl on the team that runs pretty quickly.”
“It is going to be a positive thing for the whole team,” he added.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference allows school districts to decide their own policies.
The CIAC’s handbook states that it is unjust and illegal for districts to stop students from competing in gender-appropriate sports teams.
“I didn’t want to live my whole life hiding myself from my family and other people,” Yearwood says.
“It was heartwarming and pretty exciting to see that other people were using Andraya,” Yearwood adds.
“This being my first meet as a transgender woman at the school, to me it felt like there was a little extra pressure to show my best and not let everyone down.”
The teen was told that he is now allowed to wrestle boys but only during the off-season.