Riley Gaines, 23-year-old award-winning college and university swimmer, appeared before the U.S. Senate this week and strongly condemned the decision to give the green light to continue allowing biologically born men like Lia Thomas to compete in the women’s swimming category.
Riley Gaines‘ participation and testimony at the Capitol on June 21st kicked off the US Senate hearing on “Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans”.
Holding back tears, @Riley_Gaines_ recounts her and her teammates' experience of having to get changed in a locker room alongside biological male Lia Thomas:
"No one asked for our consent, and we did not give our consent." pic.twitter.com/z7nvAexGhq
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 21, 2023
She began her engaging testimony by recounting how she and (now) transsexual Lia Thomas both finished fifth in the 200-yard NCAA freestyle championship, and how the day before she and her teammates were beaten by Thomas in the 500-yard freestyle race.
– Having only one trophy, the NCAA handed it to Thomas and told me I had to go home empty-handed. And when I asked why – which was not a question they were prepared to be asked – I actually appreciate their honesty because they said it was crucial Thomas had it for picture purposes.
– I felt betrayed. I felt belittled. I felt reduced to a photo-op. But my feelings didn’t matter. What mattered to the NCAA waIs the feelings of a biological male.
She then became emotional as she talked about how the women were forced to share changing rooms with Lia Thomas.
– But that is not all. In addition to being forced to give up our awards and our titles and our opportunities, the NCAA forced me and my female swimmers to share a locker room with Thomas, a 6-foot-4, 22-year-old male equipped with and exposing male genitalia. Let me be clear about this – we were not forewarned we would be sharing a locker room. No one asked for our consent and we did not give our consent.
At the time of writing, the NCAA has not commented on Riley Gaines’ testimony.