Female swimming champ says Lia Thomas exposed ‘male genitalia’ to female athletes, demands separate locker rooms

Twelve-time All-American and five-time SEC champion swimmer Riley Gaines is urging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to give transgender athletes who compete in female sports separate locker rooms.

Gaines and her teammates were forced to disrobe in front of University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer Lia Thomas after a meet last year, and Gaines says Thomas exposed them to “male genitalia.”

(Video: Fox News)

At the time, Thomas was in the early stages of hormone replacement therapy but had not undergone gender reassignment surgery.

“We were not forewarned beforehand that we would be sharing a locker room with Lia. 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 dropping his pants and watching us undress, and we were exposed to male genitalia,” Gaines said during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’s “America Reports.”

“That to me was worse than the competition piece,” the women’s sports advocate said. “Not even probably a year, two years ago, this would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism. But now, not even are they just allowing it to happen, it’s almost as if these large organizations are encouraging it to happen.”

Gaines was a guest of Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich) at President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night State of the Union Address.

Since having no alternative but to compete against Thomas in a national swimming competition that ended in the two of them tying for fifth place, Gaines has been vocal in her quest to ensure biologically-female athletes get a fair opportunity to shine in women’s sports and aren’t outdone by biological males who are physically at an advantage.

She now serves as a spokesperson for the Independent Woman’s Forum and accuses the NCAA of “celebrating” the trans movement to the detriment of female athletes.

“Of course, after NCAA championships, the NCAA then nominated Thomas for NCAA Woman of the Year, so we [they] are celebrating this movement,” she stated. “This is not something that happened by chance on a one-off basis. They are encouraging [biological] men to compete in women’s sports.”

President Biden’s “gender ideology propaganda” is also to blame, Gaines said.

The 22-year-old is uncomfortable with being called “brave” for her decision to speak out in support of women athletes.

“Honestly, you have all these people all the time tell me how courageous it is to speak to this and how brave I am, but truthfully does it make someone brave to just acknowledge women deserve equal opportunities?” she asked. “That’s how far we have come as a society and within our culture.”

So committed is she to the cause, she’s put her dreams of dentistry school on hold to advocate for women’s sports.

She says fear is keeping more female athletes from speaking out against the intrusion of biological males into women’s private spaces.

“People are terrified, especially speaking from my experience of talking to other NCAA swimmers specifically. Lia Thomas’s teammates even,” she said. “They are told their school has made their stance for them. They are told if they feel uncomfortable seeing male genitalia in the locker room, they should seek counseling resources. They’re told they will never get into grad school if they speak out”

“All of these terrible, awful things that are not true,” Gaines stressed. “They are told, of course, that they will be called a bigot and hateful and transphobic, but it doesn’t make you any of those things to acknowledge that there are two sexes, you cannot change your sex and women deserve opportunities.”


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