Trans swimmer Lia Thomas’s former teammates expressed discomfort undressing with her during training sessions. When they raised concerns, the university told them to get “reeducated.” The incident has sparked debate on privacy and inclusion.
She Shared Her Experience
Addressing the House Judiciary Committee, Paula Scanlan, a former teammate of Lia Thomas and an NCAA Division I swimmer, shared her experiences and those of her teammates.
Changing Clothes in Front of a Trans Person
Scanlan revealed that they were required to change clothes in the presence of Thomas, a 6-foot-4 tall, biological male on a regular basis. The situation made some girls opt to change in bathroom stalls or use the family bathroom to avoid discomfort.
Their Concerns Were Not Well Received
When the teammates raised their concerns with the university, they were met with an unsatisfactory response.
They Were Told to Get “Reeducated”
The university offered them counseling to “reeducate” them and become “comfortable with the idea of undressing in front of a male.”
Scanlan expressed her disappointment, stating that the university essentially labeled them as the problem rather than addressing the discomfort they experienced.
The University Was Gaslighting Them
She said, “We were expected to conform, to move over and shut up. Our feelings didn’t matter. The university was gaslighting and fear-mongering women to validate the feelings and identity of a male.”
Thomas Underwent Transition
Lia Thomas, who formerly competed on the men’s swimming team, underwent the transitioning process in 2019 and joined the women’s team in 2021.
Her Rankings Significantly Improved
Her rankings significantly improved when competing on the women’s team, becoming the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming title at the Ivy League Penn and being nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award in 2022.
Thomas Was Fast
Scanlan pointed out that Thomas had personal best times in every freestyle event that were faster than the women’s world records.
Questioning Is Being Labeled Transphobic
She added, “Today, any discussion maintaining the sanctity of women’s spaces is labeled transphobic, bigoted, and hateful.”
Make Separate Locker Rooms for Trans Athletes?
Riley Gaines, another swimmer, expressed her opinion to Fox News that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) should consider creating separate locker rooms for transgender athletes.
Gaines, a 12-time All-American, and five-time SEC champion, recounted her discomfort.
“We Did Not Give Our Consent”
She said, “We did not give our consent, they did not ask for our consent, but in that locker room we turned around, and there’s a 6 ‘4″ biological man…”
This Would Have Been Considered Assault
She added: “Not even probably a year, two years ago, this would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism.”
“This Madness Has to End”
Several social media users shared their views on the incident. One Twitter user wrote, “An absolute disgrace. This madness has to end.”
Boycott Every Competition?
Another user added, “The only way I can see to make this stop is for women (AKA human adult female) to boycott every competition, every training day until this madness stops.”
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