Former high school track athlete Chelsea Mitchell said that competing against trans athletes was “devastating” to her confidence and opportunities, and she pledged to continue her legal battle to ban biological males from girls’ sports.
Mitchell, the “fastest girl in Connecticut,” wrote an op-ed in USA Today on Sunday explaining why she and three other athletes sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) last year over the state’s decision to allow trans athletes to compete based on gender identity instead of biology.
Mitchell competed against biologically male athletes for most of high school career and said that continuous losses to those trans athletes was demoralizing to her and other girls in the sport.
“I’ve lost four women’s state championship titles, two all-New England awards, and numerous other spots on the podium to male runners. I was bumped to third place in the 55-meter dash in 2019, behind two male runners. With every loss, it gets harder and harder to try again,” she wrote.
“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,” she added.
Mitchell and fellow female high school athletes Alanna Smith, Selina Soule, Ashley Nicoletti sued CIAC in February 2020 for allowing two biological males, transgender students Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, to compete in girls track and field competitions. A federal district judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, ruling that the question was moot since Yearwood and Miller had graduated and were no longer competing in high school sports.
Mitchell intends to appeal the judge’s decision, however. While they competed, Yearwood and Miller dominated Connecticut high school girls track. As Mitchell writes:
The CIAC allows biological males to compete in girls’ and women’s sports. As a result, two males began racing in girls’ track in 2017. In the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone, these males 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.