Members of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team are reportedly uncomfortable changing and showering with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in the locker room, according to the latest reports on this controversial college athlete.
Thomas, who has claimed to have “transitioned” to being a woman, has never gone through any surgical procedures and is still fully endowed with male genitalia. And according to reports, Thomas’s parading around in locker rooms with male genitalia has upset some of the natural-born female team members, the Daily Mail reported.
“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the unnamed source told the Mail, adding that Thomas tells teammates that he is still attracted to women.
The paper added that some of Thomas’ teammates had asked UPenn’s coach to get Thomas to use other facilities to change and shower. But thus far, school officials have ignored the issue.
Lia Thomas, a transgender woman (C), gathers with her teammates before she swims for the University of Pennsylvania at an Ivy League swim meet against Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 22, 2022. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” the source told the Mail. “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.”
The source, a female swimmer on the UPenn team, added that “Lia doesn’t seem to care how it makes anyone else feel.”
The swimmer also said that the school has told them to knuckle under and accept the situation. “The 35 of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one,” she said.
“The school was so focused on making sure Lia was okay and doing everything they possibly could do for her that they didn’t even think about the rest of us,” the woman said.
Worse, Thomas “seems like she enjoys” all the attention and controversy brought to the UPenn swim team.
Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, finishes the 200-yard Freestyle for the University of Pennsylvania at an Ivy League swim meet against Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 22, 2022. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
“It’s affected all of us way more than it’s affected her,” the source continued, noting that many of the swimmers are afraid of speaking out 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,” the woman 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.”
Thomas, who has been obliterating swimming records set by women since joining the UPenn swim team this season, has also faced an avalanche of criticism from other members of the team.
This week, the father of a UPenn swimmer insisted that Thomas has a baleful effect on the team because the natural-born women Thomas competes against know that they can never win.
Then, last week, Rice swimming coach Seth Huston criticized the NCAA and the University of Pennsylvania for allowing transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete as a woman at all, saying that the situation was unfair to the sport.
Several others have also raised the alarm over Thomas. In December, one UPenn swimmer anonymously told the media that “Everyone knows it’s the wrong thing to do” to allow Thomas to compete as a woman. And a week later, another of Thomas’s teammates said that Thomas had bragged about how easy it was to beat his natural-born female opponents.
One person outside the university has also shined a light on the unfairness of the situation. USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen resigned her position in protest over Thomas, saying that allowing Thomas to compete as a woman is “destroying women’s swimming.”
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