Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has taken a swipe at women who don’t want her to compete in women’s sports.
Thomas who was the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I championship, accused women in such category of being transphobes who are “using the guise of feminism” to hide their true, hateful beliefs.
The swimmer joined Schuyler Bailar on his podcast ‘Dear Schuyler’ to discuss the division over whether or not trans-female athletes should be on women’s sports teams.
‘They’re like: “Oh, we respect Lia as a woman, as a trans woman, whatever, we respect her identity, we just don’t think it’s fair.
‘You can’t really have that half support. Like I respect you as a woman here, but not here,’ the NCAA gold medalist said on a promotional clip for the podcast, posted to Instagram.
‘They’re using the guise of feminism to sort of push transphobic beliefs. I think a lot of people in that camp sort of carry an implicit bias against trans people, but don’t want to, I guess, fully manifest or speak that out. And so they try to just play it off as this sort of half-support.
‘You can’t do that you can’t sort of break down me as a person into little pieces.’
Bailar agreed with the controversial athlete, saying:
‘They’re coming from…this whole protect “protect women’s sports,” [which] has become a very big movement and that they do it under the guise of feminism. “Oh, we’re just feminists, we’re just fighting for women,” and whenever anybody says that I’m always [like]: ‘Okay, you’re fighting for women by excluding women so that’s not fighting for women
The athletes discussed how black women faced the same criticism that transgender women now face, saying that people ‘don’t want a woman who doesn’t look like you perhaps or who isn’t fitting your version of womanhood to win.’
Bailar went on to say that feminism has become ‘twisted’ and ‘turned into excluding women’ and reduced them to ‘reproductive capacity.’
Over the past months, a series of regulations have been passed in many international athletic organizations which prohibit the participation of transgender athletes in female competitions. It’s all been done in the name of fairness for female athletes.
The recent development is coming days after a House Republicans vote which banned transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport, a decision which will evidently have a direct impact on Lia Thomas and her ability to compete in the NCAA women’s competitions.
Thomas competed against males but switched to female competitions after she started hormone therapy in 2019. Sge received backlash following nearly every event that she won over biological women. Her critics argued she had an unfair advantage and should be forced to compete in a separate category.
Her teammates’ parents wrote a letter in December to NCAA, demanding it change the rules that permitted the young transgender athlete to compete, declaring ‘at stake here is the integrity of women’s sports.’