WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Some team members of UPenn women’s swim team feel uncomfortable sharing a locker room with Lia Thomas.
- Thomas is a transgender UPenn swimmer who previously competed on UPenn men’s swim team.
- ‘It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,’ the swim team member said.
A member of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team said some team members are uncomfortable changing in the locker room with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
The 22-year-old trans spent the previous three years swimming with the men’s team. She began transitioning to a woman in 2019.
Thomas still retains her biologically male genitalia which is sometimes exposed in the locker room.
“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” a teammate told the Daily Mail in an interview. Thomas has reportedly told her teammates that she dates women.
The swimmer revealed that other team members have voiced out to the team’s coaches about possibly getting Thomas to change elsewhere.
“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” she said. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”
She added, “It’s really upsetting because Lia doesn’t seem to care how it makes anyone else feel. The 35 of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one.”
The teammate also said that UPenn “was so focused on making sure Lia was okay that they didn’t even think about the rest of us.”
The swimmer said that Thomas “seems like she enjoys” all the attention the controversy has brought to herself.
The swimmer told DailyMail that most of the team are scared to speak out about their discomfort for fear of being labeled “transphobic.”
“If this gets a little bit bigger, I might go on the record, but I’m definitely a little afraid,” she said. “What I’m afraid of is that potential employers will Google my name and see commentary about things I said and think, oh, this person’s transphobic.”
Some teammates have discussed protesting a swim meet but fear of possibly putting their swim careers on hold after having lost a year of competition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thomas has made a name for herself after breaking school and national records this year, prompting the NCAA to review its guidelines for transgender athletes.
Source: Daily Mail