When Feelings Trump All

I understand that Andraya Yearwood is a very nice person. That is, of course, entirely irrelevant to the point at hand.

Yearwood is a 15 year old boy who identifies as a girl. Apparently, he has done so for a number of years, though he has not yet begun hormonal or surgical transition. He says he plans to next year. During Middle School, Yearwood ran for the boy’s track and field team. Upon entering high school, he began officially identifying as a girl, changed his name to “Andraya,” and his Connecticut school district recognized him as a girl. He joined the girl’s track team at Cromwell High School. He then went on to win the 100 and 200 meter dashes at the Connecticut high school Class M state championship. Though Yearwood crushed his female competitors, his times would not have even earned him a spot in the boy’s meet.

There are a lot of questions this raises. Most of the concern has been about making Yearwood feel welcomed, respected, and at home in his claimed female identity. There has been some, though not much by comparison, concern expressed about the injustice of allowing a biological boy compete against girls in competitions where physical strength is what counts most. To get straight to the point: girls are losing out in these competitions. There is more at stake here than pride and laurels. There are scholarships. There is the integrity of the competition. How long are girls going to be willing to lose to boys before they start getting so exasperated that they simply give up? What are we saying about equal opportunity for girls when we force them to compete on an unequal playing field? What are we saying about the obstacles that girls and women have overcome in recent decades when they find yet more obstacles being placed in front of them now by boys and men who claim to be girls and women? Yearwood is only a freshman, and he’s already beating the junior and senior girls. There’s no reason to think that he won’t dominate girl’s track for the next four years. And after he graduates, he will go on to compete against women in college, and surely there will be other boys who identify as girls to compete at the high school level. How many young female athletes with promise will ask themselves, “Why bother?” and never even try out?

You’ve trained for years to be the best in girl’s sports, then a boy comes along and decides he wants your title.

If you think it’s going to stop here, you’re not paying attention. Already, acceptance of the notion that gender is fluid is giving credence to those who insist that race is also fluid, and even that species is fluid. What happens when whites start demanding scholarships set aside for minorities because they identify as African-American, or Hispanic, or Native American? Are we prepared for the day a young lady with pearly white skin, straight blonde hair, and blue eyes demands to compete for the Miss Black Teen title? What about when the young man who has tattooed his face with leopard spots demands to be addressed as such and demands that we accept his hisses and roars as legitimate answers when called on in class? Are we prepared for the day when administrators, teachers, and Citizen Joe and Jane on the streets will be hounded as bigots for not recognizing this young man as the leopard he claims to be?

Brave New World, indeed.


Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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