Riley Gaines: Lia Thomas Naked In Locker Room Would Have Been Considered ‘Sexual Assault, Voyeurism’

Former college swimming star Riley Gaines, who tied transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at last year’s NCAA championships, said sharing a locker room with a biological male felt like being a victim of “some form of sexual assault, voyeurism.”

Gaines, an All-American at University of Kentucky and a five-time Southeastern Conference champion, is calling for the NCAA to have separate facilities for transgender competitors. She said seeing the male genitalia of Thomas, who swam for University of Pennsylvania, in the locker room left her feeling violated.

“There’s a 6’4″ biological man dropping his pants and watching us undress, and we were exposed to male genitalia,” she recalled. “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.”

Although Gaines, who attended President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech Tuesday as a guest of Rep. Lisa McClain, (R-MI), tied Thomas in the women’s 200-meter race, it was Thomas who was initially awarded the medal. That added insult to injury for Gaines, who doesn’t believe biological males should be able to compete against women.

“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 that women deserve equal opportunities?” she said. “That’s how far we have come as a society and within our culture.”

Thomas was hailed by college sports’ governing body after claiming to have become a woman, Gaines noted.

“Of course, after the NCAA championships the NCAA then nominated Thomas for NCAA Woman of the Year,” she said. “So we’re celebrating this movement. This isn’t something that happened by chance on a one-off basis; they’re encouraging men to compete in women’s sports.”

Gaines said her female peers are afraid to come forward and say it is wrong to allow biological males to compete against women.

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

“All of these terrible, awful things that are not true. 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 respect and opportunities,” she concluded.

Related: ‘I Left There With No Trophy’: NCAA Female Swimmer Who Tied For Fifth With Trans Athlete Says Officials Put Lia Thomas Ahead Of Her

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