Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who made history as the first Division I NCAA champion, has spoken out against what she says is the act of using feminism as a front for transphobia.
Lia Thomas, the biological man who won the women’s NCAA swimming championship 🥇has called all feminists “misogynistic transphobes” in a recent podcast interview with trans FTM swimmer Schuyler Bailar.
Lia also took a dig at the women that competed against him including… pic.twitter.com/MFanbdlRjZ
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 26, 2023
Speaking with fellow transgender swimmer Schuyler Bailar on his podcast, he criticized some pro- women’s sports advocates for their stance on transgender women competing alongside cisgender women.
She went further to accuse her former teammates who petitioned the NCAA to bar her from competing alongside women. According to her, they were being transphobic.
“They’re like, ‘Oh, we respect Lia, as a woman, as a trans woman or whatever, we respect her identity, we just don’t think it’s fair.’ You can’t really have that sort of half-support where you’re like, ‘Oh, I respect her as a woman here, but not here,’” Thomas said.
“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,” she went further.
Agreeing with Thomas’ views, Bailar went on about how some women have “twisted” the concept of feminism to peddle prejudice against transgender people. According to him, excluding transgender women from competing with biological females is “extremely anti-feminist.”
The debate on transgender athletes in sports has been a subject of controversy, with the country divided on what side transgender people belong to.
While some argue that allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports is a matter of inclusion and equity, others argue that it is unfair towards biological women as it tilts the playing field in the transgender athletes’ favor.
As the issue continues to spark debates, Biden’s administration’s Department of Education proposed a policy that would prohibit schools from keeping transgender athletes from female sports for kids in grades K through 8.
Among supporters of the new rule is Thomas, who made a video saying, “I started swimming when I was 5 years old and it has given me so much. It has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow, develop, and connect with my peers — opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten if I didn’t have access to athletics.
“That’s why it breaks my heart to see trans kids across the country lose out on these opportunities,” she added.
She, however, called for more and demanded “equal protection for all transgender athletes” as she pointed out that the rule “would not prohibit discrimination against trans kids in the high school and college levels under the guise of competitive fairness.”