New York (October 7, 2019) – Today, Athlete Ally announced that out transgender student athletes and activists Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller will be honored at the Sixth Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering inclusive athletic environments and mobilizing the athletic community to champion LGBTQ equality. The awards ceremony, which will also honor out gay Major League Soccer player Collin Martin and additional honorees to be announced shortly, will take place on Tuesday, November 12th at the New World Stages in New York City.
Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller are both out transgender high school student athletes and activists from Connecticut. In 2017, Andraya began competing with her high school’s girls track team and won first place in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. In June 2017, she won second place at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference 100-yard dash finals. Terry won the 200-meter title at the State Open meet for the second year in a row in 2019. At the same meet, Terry set a girls state indoor record in the 55 meter dash. In the face of a petition and a Title IX lawsuit attempting to prevent them and other trans girl track runners from competing, Andraya and Terry have remained steadfast in their determination to be themselves and participate in the sports they love. In response to the Title IX lawsuit, Andraya wrote:
“I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run. There is no shortage of discrimination that I face as a young black woman who is transgender. I have to wake up every day in a world where people who look like me face so many scary and unfair things. I am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me. This is what keeps me going. Every day I train hard — I work hard to succeed on the track, to support my teammates, and to make my community proud.”
In her response, Terry wrote,
“I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent. I am a girl and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored. Living in a state that protects my rights is something that I do not take for granted. So many young trans people face exclusion at school and in athletics and it contributes to the horrible pain and discrimination that my community faces. The more we are told that we don’t belong and should be ashamed of who we are, the fewer opportunities we have to participate in sports at all. And being an athlete can help us survive. But instead we are being told to be quiet, to go home, to stop being who we are. I will continue to fight for all trans people to compete and participate consistent with who we are. There is a long history of excluding Black girls from sport and policing our bodies. I am a runner and I will keep running and keep fighting for my existence, my community and my rights.”
“Andraya and Terry truly embody the spirit of the Action Awards with their passion and commitment to LGBTQ rights and to the sport they love,” said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “They refuse to be silenced or pushed away from the track, and they’re dedicated to fighting for the rights of trans female athletes of color to be safe, welcome and included in all areas of society, especially sport. It’s a true honor to be presenting Terry and Andraya with Action Awards.”
To purchase tickets to the Awards, click here.
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQ equality in and through sport.
The Sixth Annual Athlete Ally Action awards are made possible due to generous support, to date, from the National Basketball Association/Women’s Basketball Association (NBA/WNBA), HBO, Warner Media, Gatorade, Major League Soccer, Credit Suisse, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), TransPerfect, MillerCoors, and Tito’s Vodka in addition to individual supporters and other corporate support.
Learn more about the Action Awards here.
Press Inquiries: Joanna Hoffman, [email protected]