Who is Selina Soule? Student-athlete wages 'frustrating' battle against trans women in sports
Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, and Alanna Smith, are high school students suing to disallow transgender participation in women's sports
Four Connecticut student-athletes are set to appeal a federal district court ruling that dismissed their legal challenge against the state's Interscholastic Athletic Conference transgender policy, which allows transgender students to compete in girls' athletic events. Identified as Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, and Alanna Smith, the plaintiffs appealing the ruling are "taking a public stand against the harmful policies that allow this to happen", writes the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Their lawsuit came after biological male athletes who identify as female won 15 women’s high school track championships, reports their website. These titles were previously held by nine different girls within the state, the outlet shared, adding, "Young women are losing athletic opportunities, dreams of competing at the next level, and even potential scholarships."
Filed in 2020, the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by US District Court Judge Robert Chatigny on April 25 on procedural grounds. Judge Chatigny cited there was no dispute to resolve as the transgender athletes had graduated, and the plaintiffs couldn't either identify any other female transgender athletes.
Who is Selina Soule?
One of the four students who are suing the state policy is Selina Soule who told Fox News' The Faulkner Focus in February that they are fighting "for fairness in women's sports." Soule complained that through all four years of high-school, she was "forced to compete against biological males in the girls category," calling it a "very frustrating and demoralizing experience." Soule alleges that her transgender competitors were people she knew she would "never be able to beat" because of the physical advantages they allegedly have over her.
Soule, along with Mitchell and Smith, alleges she lost the opportunity to compete at the New England Regional Championships because of two biological males who were allowed to compete.
"I lost out on the opportunity to qualify for the regional New England meet in 2019 because I was beaten by two biological males and if they were not there in the race then I would have been able to qualify for the meet," she said. Soule insisted she "wasn’t the only one impacted," reports the Alliance Defending Freedom, which works as a nonprofit in the field of "advocating, training, and funding on the issues of ‘religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family'."
'It’s just a very frustrating experience'
Soule joined the other high school female athletes in filing the federal lawsuit in February 2020 and has been reported as the lead plaintiff in the case. She was a senior at Connecticut's Glastonbury High School in 2020 at the time. "It’s just a very frustrating experience because all we hope to gain by this is fairness to be restored to our sport," she told the Faulkner Focus.
Alliance Defending Freedom's General Counsel Kristen Waggoner told the segment, "There are real, legitimate differences between the sexes and when the law doesn’t recognize those differences it’s primarily women and girls that take the brunt of that harm and that’s what we’re seeing in Connecticut and the Biden order nationalizes that harm."
Their outrage followed after President Joe Biden called on schools across the US to allow transgender students to participate as the gender with which they identified.
Commenting on that, Soule noted, "I think that biology should be the reason why the sports are separated, and that’s why they have been separated and that’s why Title IX was enacted is because there are biological differences between a man and woman, and there’s nothing that can be done to change that."
Harvard University describes Title IX as "a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972" that "protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance."
'Being equal doesn’t mean being identical'
According to the CTPost, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) said they believe "its current policy is appropriate under both state and federal law, and it has been defending that policy in the complaint that was filed previously with the Office of Civil Rights."
Adopting the policy in 2013, the organisation said that they "consulted with and relied on statements and advice from numerous bodies and organizations, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Connecticut Department of Education, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and the Office of Civil Rights."
Alliance Defending Freedom's Waggoner said, "We do treat all people with dignity and respect, but it’s wrong to gut legal protections for women. We do need to restore fair play to women’s sports and recognize that being equal doesn’t mean being identical."