- Riley Gaines, 23, claimed female swimmers were not ‘forewarned beforehand that we would be sharing a locker room with Lia’
- ‘In that locker room, we turned around and there’s a 6’4″ biological man dropping his pants…we were exposed to male genitalia,’ she said
- Gaines is asking the NCAA for separate locker rooms for transgender athletes
By ALYSSA GUZMAN and STEPHEN M. LEPORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM – Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 09:47 EST, 9 February 2023 | UPDATED: 15:52 EST, 9 February 2023
A former University of Kentucky swimmer claims transgender swimmer Lia Thomas ‘dropped her pants’ and exposed ‘male genitalia’ in the women’s locker room at a meet last year.
Riley Gaines, 23, claimed female swimmers 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,’ Gaines told Fox News‘ America Reports. ‘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.’
Thomas, a former University of Pennsylvania swimmer, has begun hormonal treatments, but has not received gender reassignment surgery.
Gaines – who has delayed dental school to continue fighting for biological female athletes – is now asking the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to create separate locker rooms for transgender athletes.
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Riley Gaines, 23, claimed female swimmers were not ‘forewarned beforehand that we would be sharing a locker room with Lia’
Lia Thomas pictured with Riley Gaines at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships last March
‘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 said.
‘That to me was worse than the competition piece.’
Gaines, who is a spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum, said the NCAA failed to protect women and their sports and that they have celebrated transgender athletes.
‘The NCAA then nominated Thomas for NCAA Woman of the Year, so we [they] are celebrating this movement,’ she told America Reports. ‘This is not something that happened by chance on a one-off basis. They are encouraging [biological] men to compete in women’s sports.’
Gaines, a 12-time All-American athlete, also attended the State of the Union this week as Michigan Republican Representative Lisa McClain’s guest. The young athlete, who graduated in 2022, said the White House has only promoted ‘gender ideology propaganda’ by allowing transgender athletes to compete against biological women.
‘People are terrified, especially speaking from my experience of talking to other NCAA swimmers specifically. Lia Thomas’s teammates even,’ the Kentucky athlete said. ‘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.
‘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.’
Gaines – who has delayed dental school to continue fighting for biological female athletes – is now asking the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to create separate locker rooms for transgender athletes
Earlier this year, Gaines slammed President Joe Biden for proposing to change the definition of ‘sex’ in a federal civil rights law to include ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity.’
The changes to Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government, would allow transgender female athletes to compete against biological women in sports.
By doing so, Gaines wrote in an essay, biological women would be placed at a disadvantage when competing against transgender women.
Gaines used the opportunity to recount how she was forced to share a locker room with Thomas at the NCAA Championships back in March.
The athlete also revealed in a tweet earlier this week that ‘elite athletes’ have privately thanked her for her public stances against transgender athletes, but she slammed them for refusing to go public.
The former University of Kentucky swimmer wrote: ‘At first, I felt honored when elite (both female and male) athletes thanked me for taking a public stance on having male-bodied athletes in women’s sports and locker rooms.’
She did not name any of the athletes who had thanked her, but went on to demand they break their silence.
‘Now I realize these private thanks make them responsible for this continuing and advancing as it has,’ Gaines added.
THE RULES ON TRANSGENDER ATHLETES AND WHEN THEY CAN COMPETE FOR THE GENDER THEY ARE SWITCHING TO
Thomas previously competed on UPenn men’s swim team for three years before transitioning in 2019 (pictured in 2016 and 2017, respectively)
Lia Thomas started taking hormone therapy while she was still competing as a male back in May 2019.
Under USA Swimming rules, athletes had to have recorded low levels of testosterone for 36 months to compete in the female category.
That meant that Thomas didn’t qualify for the NCAA championship if they followed USA Swimming rules – as they originally said they would.
But the NCAA said she would be allowed to compete because they were refusing to adopt the threshold in 2021.
The NCAA committee said: ‘The subcommittee decided implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships.’
It is unclear what they will do next year.