'They Set a Dude Lose in Your Locker Room': Female Swimmer Details Experience Competing Against Lia Thomas
Swimmer Riley Gaines competed against Lia Thomas during the controversial NCAA finals in March. If you are unfamiliar with the controversy, it's a little complicated.
Riley and the other competitors, according to science, are women. Lia, according to the AP Styleguide, is also a woman, albeit, a woman who was born male, went through puberty as a male, still has male genitalia, and still dates women just like those who were born male and went through puberty as males with male genitalia have been traditionally known to do. There are critics who believe Lia being born a male gives her unfair genetic advantages over the biologically female collegiate swimmers, even though, as the AP Styleguide says, Lia is a woman.
One of those critics is Riley Gaines. Gaines tied Thomas in one of the races but was told she couldn't hold the trophy by NCAA officials. For some reason, they only wanted Lia to hold the trophy. Riley shared what the experience was like for her and other critics of Lia's. Namely, all the other women Lia competed against.
"We watch Lia Thomas win a national title and blow all of the other females completely out of the water. And that next day we came back and the mood had shifted to where people were mad. The girls--there were tears--these poor ninth and seventeenth place finishers, who missed out on being an All-American."
Gaines also mentioned the extreme discomfort in the locker room, which the competitors were not forewarned about. It is the opinion of Gaines and many of the other competitors that it "is not right [by] any means, changing in a locker room with someone who has different... parts." However, there are some who feel it IS right, and anyone who disagrees is a transphobe.
Lia Thomas most recently lost out at being NCAA Woman of the Year to a fencer from Columbia University. By all indications, Sylvie Binder was born female.
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