Alanna Smith is a high school track athlete from Connecticut who has been forced to compete against biological males who identify as females. In her state, two biological male athletes have won 15 women’s track championship titles, leaving Alanna and other girls robbed of medals, athletic opportunities, and potential scholarships.
“We know who’s going to win the race before it even begins,” Alanna, a junior, told IWF. “It just seems like all our hard work is going down the drain.”
With the help of the Christian legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, Alanna is bravely standing up for fairness in girls’ and women’s sports. ADF, on behalf of Alanna and other female athletes in the state, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Connecticut policy under Title IX, which was intended to expand educational opportunities for women—not take them away.
“Girls like Alanna should not be sidelined in their own sports,” said Christiana Holcombe, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “But that is exactly what’s happening in the state of Connecticut, where they allow biological males to come in and to dominate the girls’ category.”
Adding to her fight, just hours after swearing in the nation’s first female vice president, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that effectively ordered women’s sports and athletic scholarships to go co-ed.
“While we will have to wait and see exactly how the agencies implement the order, what we do know is that it completely ignores federal law and it communicates loud and clear to athletes like Alanna that they don’t matter to this administration,” Holcombe said.
In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, IWF spoke with Alanna and Holcombe about their effort to protect fair and safe play for girls and women.
Alanna told IWF that, despite the national coverage of the issue, she has the support of most people in her community.
“Most people support me and think that it’s really great that I’m standing up,” she said. “But I’m glad that I did stand up because obviously, it’s a really unfair situation.”
Watch our interview here.