A Connecticut high school sprinter who sued the state for permitting transgender participation in female sports says she lost four state titles and called it a "devastating experience."
"I've lost four women's state championship titles, two all-New England awards, and numerous other spots on the podium to transgender runners," Chelsea Mitchell wrote Tuesday for the USA Today. "I was bumped to third place in the 55-meter dash in 2019, behind two transgender runners. With every loss, it gets harder and harder to try again.
"That's a devastating experience. It tells me that I'm not good enough; that my body isn't good enough; and that no matter how hard I work, I am unlikely to succeed, because I'm a woman."
Mitchell's case, among four who sued Connecticut, had the support of the Trump administration Justice Department, but the Biden administration DOJ withdrew support for girl athletes amid their push for transgender rights.
"Girls and women shouldn't be stripped of their right to fair competition," Mitchell wrote.
Republicans, conservatives, and women's rights supporters argue allowing girls who were born male biologically is ostensibly oppressing women in the U.S. And, Mitchell added, the losses have impacted her collegiate scholarship opportunities, which Title IX once sought to support for girls.
"Unfortunately, a federal district court recently dismissed our case," Mitchell wrote. "The court's decision to do so tells women and girls that their feelings and opportunities don't matter, and that they can't expect anyone to stand up for their dignity and their rights.
"That's wrong. And it chips away at women's confidence and our belief in our own abilities.
"It's happened to me over and over. Every time I walk up to the starting line, I try to tell myself that I can overcome the unfair odds — I can win, even though the race is stacked against me."
Mitchell said transgender supporters need to follow the biological science, stop ignoring the obvious, and follow the facts.
"The CIAC allows biological males to compete in girls' and women's sports," Mitchell wrote. "As a result, two transgender athletes began racing in girls' track in 2017. In the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone, these runners took 15 women's state track championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different girls) and more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions that belonged to female track athletes.
"That's because males have massive physical advantages. Their bodies are simply bigger and stronger on average than female bodies. It's obvious to every single girl on the track."
But the Biden administration lacks the common sense to see the obvious, as she vowed to appeal.
"It's discouraging that the federal district court has decided that these experiences — these lost opportunities — simply don’t matter," she wrote. "But I'm not beaten yet. And neither are my fellow female athletes.
"Through our ADF attorneys, my fellow athletes and I are appealing the federal district court's ruling. We're taking our case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, where we are going to ask once again for the court to recognize our right to fair competition — a right that Title IX has promised to girls and women for 50 years. And we're fighting not just for ourselves, but for all female athletes.
"So as we prepare for this next step in the case, I'm settling into my starting blocks again, but for a different kind of race. And this time, I'm confident that we can win."
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