A Massachusetts high school boy competed with the girls’ track and field team and helped them win the state’s indoor track and field championship in February in yet another example of males competing against females due to transgender identity.
Junior Chloe Barnes of Brookline High School finished fourth in the 55-yard hurdles at the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 1 indoor track and field championship, accumulating five points for his team.
Brookline won the title by 12 points over second-place finisher Newton North. At the meet, which took place on February 19, only the top eight runners from the preliminaries advanced to the finals. Shayla Quill, a senior from Andover, placed ninth, meaning that she missed out on advancing while Barnes placed third in the preliminary race.
“Deal with it,” Barnes said in 2022, reacting to those critical of the role of trans-identifying athletes on athletic teams. “Just deal with it.”
Girls track and field coach Lee Eddy has championed Barnes and a girl who wants to compete as a boy but preferred to remain anonymous, saying, “We have all kinds of different people on the team with different characters, different types of people. [X] and Chloe just kind of added to the potpourri of what we have and they blend in like everybody else does in terms of being themselves, and they’re allowed to be themselves. I think it’s great and I think they’re great. I think actually we learn a lot from each other and I learn a lot from them.”
The Brookline School Committee Policy Review Subcommittee wrote in 2019, “Students who are transgender may participate in accordance with the gender identity they consistently assert at school. Interscholastic athletic activities are addressed through the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Gender Identity Policy (MIAA) clarification.”
The MIAA handbook states, “Students are entitled to be accepted by their schools as the gender with which they identify across all school programs. This means that athletic opportunities must be afforded to students in accordance with their identified gender, not necessarily their birth-assigned gender.”
“Blanket prohibitions based on gender should be avoided,” the handbook continues. “The MIAA case in 1979 and D.M. case decided by the 8th Circuit Court show that when an athletic association has a blanket prohibition of boys playing on girls teams such rules were overly broad and not sufficiently tailored to the interest in advancing gender equity in school based athletic programs.”