INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A female collegiate swimmer is demanding that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provide separate locker rooms for biological and transgender athletes after claiming that Lia Thomas – the controversial University of Pennsylvania swim team member who is a biological male that identifies as female – blatantly exposed their “male genitalia” in the women’s locker room after a 2022 meet.
Riley Gaines – a 12-time All-American, five-time SEC champion, and women’s sports advocate – called upon the NCAA to provide separate locker rooms for female athletes after speaking on the discomfort that she and her fellow team members were forced to endure when they were made to change in the same room as Thomas.
Thomas has engaged in hormone replacement therapy but has not undergone any gender-affirming surgery, and still possesses full male genitals, according to Gaines.
“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. “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 claims that the NCAA has failed to protect female athletes in favor of offering what she called unfair advantages by allowing individuals who were born male but identify as female to compete in women’s sports.
“Of course, after NCAA championships, the NCAA then nominated Thomas for NCAA Woman of the Year, so we [they] are celebrating this movement,” she said. “This is not something that happened by chance on a one-off basis. They are encouraging [biological] men to compete in women’s sports.”
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Gaines has put a planned career in dentistry on hold in order to be a full-time advocate for female athletes who are afraid to speak out about the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sport.
“People are terrified, especially speaking from my experience of talking to other NCAA swimmers specifically. Lia Thomas’s teammates even. They are told their school has made their stance for them,” Gaines said. “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.”