As a parent, you always want the best for your child. You fight for them to be given a fair and equal chance in this world, which can often be unforgivably cruel.
Of course, it’s a difficult, and sometimes impossible, task – one that demands a great deal of energy and financial backing.
Unfortunately, this world isn’t a level playing field. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have in the bank, how well connected you are or how genetically blessed you are, there will always be a struggle to overcome.
However, in 2018, that struggle is becoming less pronounced. Women are making huge advancements towards equality within the workplace, people of color are currently commanding some of the highest offices in the world, those with disabilities are finally being given opportunities once only reserved for the able-bodied and the LGBTQ community is beginning to get the liberation that they have been campaigning for over the course of several decades.
With all this change in mind, it’s easy to think that the world is moving in the right direction, to a more inclusive environment that celebrates every individual, no matter who they are, who they were or who they want to be.
And, it is. But, it is equally becoming more complex as a result of this fast-paced progression.
The rate at which the world is embracing the change is alarming and quite simply overwhelming on the archaic systems that have long been in place.
For example, there has been a great deal of controversy in the state of Connecticut this week after two transgender women dominated the leaderboard at the State Open track and field competition.
Parents and students have been left equally frustrated after transgender teens, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, took first and second place in the 100m dash. In addition, Miller also won the 200m dash, running the sprint in an impressive time of 24.17 seconds.
Miller, who’d competed for the boys’ team during the indoor track season, even set new records for her rapid sprints.
Watch her epic sprint and see for yourself if it is fair…
Despite their clear talent, there has been a huge backlash, with many questioning the two teen’s eligibility to compete in the girls’ competitions.
“I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Open and New Englands,” Selina Soule, who finished in sixth place in the 100m dash, told The Hartford Courant. “These girls, they’re just coming in and beating everyone,” she said, before adding: “I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl.”
Meanwhile, whilst talking to the CT Post, the teen’s mother stated that she held an issue with the fact that there isn’t any gender divide in “math and science and chorus” competitions. “Sports are set up for fairness,” she explained. “Biologically male and female are different.”
According to the CT Post, a petition to have the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) change their rules, which currently allow students to compete under whatever gender they identify as, has been signed by 60 people.
A second petition started by a father-of-two has also garnered more than 80 signatures.
One of those who signed the petition is Brian Collins, a coach from Glastonbury High School, one of the competing schools. “The way the law is written, Terry Miller is eligible to compete,” he said. “I think a lot of people, myself included, have a problem with … a biological male competing.”
“When they put the state law in effect, my interpretation is it wasn’t made for high school sports. I think it was meant for all people — whether transgender, bisexual, gay — are treated fairly. I totally agree with that, but with sports it’s not a level playing field.”
People have also been very vocal about Miller and Yearwood’s eligibility to compete on Twitter…
In the girls’ 100m race, Miller took first place with a time of 11.72 seconds, whilst Yearwood, who won the same race the year before, placed second with a time of 12.29. Third place was taken by Bridget Lalondie with a time of 12.36.
Despite having been beaten by Miller and Yearwood, Lalondie remains supportive of their right to compete. “To be honest, I think it’s great they get a chance to compete and as long as they’re happy, I guess, there’s not that much I can do,” she said, very diplomatically. “The rules are the rules. The only competition is the clock. You can only run as fast as you can.”
Interestingly, when it came to the 400m dash, Terry Miller took 4th place with a time of 57.61, more than two seconds slower than the race winner, Carly Swierbut.
Discussing her triumphant win, Swierbut maintained that Miller should be given every chance to compete. “If you’re good enough to run, you’re good enough to run,” she said. “If somebody wants to win, they’re going to work their tail off to win. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, everybody should have the chance.”
Meanwhile, in the 200m dash, Yearwood took seventh place.
It’s certainly a controversial case, given that transgender women will have a slight biological advantage. However, you can’t argue with the fact that if you’re hungry for success, a woman could train furiously hard to be in the same physical condition.
But, what do you think?