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(10,393 posts)
Tue May 31, 2022, 02:24 PM May 2022

Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas: 'Trans Women Are Not A Threat To Women's Sports'

Transgender athlete Lia Thomas pushed back at her critics during her first sit down interview following her historic NCAA swimming championship win this spring, reiterating that “trans women are not a threat to women’s sports.”

“I intend to keep swimming,” she said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America after making history in March as the first openly transgender athlete to win a NCAA Division I national championship in any sport.

Thomas graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this month after competing for three years on the men’s swim team and then on the women’s team this past season after transitioning. In that final season, after completing a year of hormone replacement therapy as required by the NCAA to change gender categories, she won the women’s 500-yard freestyle event with a season-best time of 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds. She said she now plans to attend law school with a goal of competing in the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

“It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through,” she said.

But her NCAA win was met with controversy with critics saying that she had an unfair, physical advantage against her female cisgender competitors. Some members on her own swim team said they support her as a trans woman but said she posed a threat to women’s sports and shouldn’t compete against cisgender women like them.

There is a great variation even among cis women athletes. Brittney Griner or Breanna Stewart =/= Suni Lee or Allyson Felix.

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Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas: 'Trans Women Are Not A Threat To Women's Sports' (Original Post) Jilly_in_VA May 2022 OP
I've turned away from this debate. There is no good solution that is likely to be adopted. hlthe2b May 2022 #1
See this thread Jilly_in_VA May 2022 #2
I get that. But what is your answer to this issue? hlthe2b May 2022 #4
Just an aside ... Sandy Becker May 2022 #3
They showed *no* interest in women's sports prior to this... IngridsLittleAngel Jun 2022 #6
No. As much as it may shock some people, we are not. IngridsLittleAngel Jun 2022 #5
Thank you, Angel Jilly_in_VA Jun 2022 #7
You're welcome IngridsLittleAngel Jun 2022 #8


(103,502 posts)
1. I've turned away from this debate. There is no good solution that is likely to be adopted.
Tue May 31, 2022, 02:29 PM
May 2022

And science has not (as yet) been of much help. I believe in making fairness the priority, while not losing the competitive nature of sports, but no one is going to get exactly what they want. So I'll just leave it at that. I hope wiser minds (and kind hearts) prevail.


(10,393 posts)
2. See this thread
Tue May 31, 2022, 02:46 PM
May 2022

which I posted a couple of weeks ago. It may help to explain biological differences in males, females, and anyone in between. Gender is not as simple as people claim it is.

Here's something interesting. Did you know that when a dairy cow has male/female twins, the female is almost invariably something called a "freemartin"? That is, she gets too many male hormones from her brother in utero, so she will not grow up to be able to breed or be a milker. She can be raised for meat, or she can go to a sanctuary.

Which makes me wonder about something else. My daughter's friend had a pair of boy/girl fraternal twins and the boy is gay. He's known since he was quite young. I've known at least two other sets of male/female twins where one of them is gay, not always the male, so does this presuppose some hormonal cross-transmission in utero, or is it the slightly more complicated business mentioned in the thread above? Because not all the boy-girl twins I know are like that. And should I re-post the thread?


(103,502 posts)
4. I get that. But what is your answer to this issue?
Tue May 31, 2022, 08:39 PM
May 2022

Should we consider gender to be one big continuum and everyone competes against each other (in sports)? Somehow I'm not sure I see the fairness of that approach. There are androgen-associated muscular and musculoskeletal advantages for those whose critically-timed development included high circulating levels. I've seen nothing to suggest those effects all disappear--certainly not skeletal nor most muscular development-- when no longer under the influence of androgenic hormones. Does that necessarily make the difference in competition? Not always, clearly. I don't know the right answer, that's for sure.



(1,962 posts)
6. They showed *no* interest in women's sports prior to this...
Wed Jun 1, 2022, 12:52 AM
Jun 2022

And honestly, they still have zero interest in women's sports here in 2022. What they do have lots of interest in, though, is making life hell for trans people (especially women) and they have found another issue which to beat the trans community over the head with.

Once this ugly mess is over, they'll go back to trying to completely defund women's sports. Because, damnit, that's wasting money that could go toward football!



(1,962 posts)
5. No. As much as it may shock some people, we are not.
Wed Jun 1, 2022, 12:48 AM
Jun 2022

The real threats to women's sports? Inhuman scum like Larry Nassar. Other coaches and trainers that abuse female athletes - physically, mentally and especially sexually. How about Cruella DeVos and her efforts to erase Title IX during her reign of terror as Secretary of "Education".

And let's not forget all of the administrators who would absolutely love to completely defund women's sports. Each and every one of them would gladly slash the funding for women's sports to $0, to spend all that money on "more important", "more profitable" programs like football, basketball and for certain colleges, baseball.

But, of course, some people (even here) would like us to believe Lia Thomas and other trans athletes are worse than Satan or Drumpf. Even the mention of her name will get people yelling and screaming about how "Trans people are destroying women's sports!" No evidence exists, of course, while mountains of evidence exist showing how the conservatives would gladly destroy women's sports, and that plenty of cisgendered men and women have inflicted incredible harm upon female athletes.

But facts? Meh... They're boring.


(10,393 posts)
7. Thank you, Angel
Wed Jun 1, 2022, 09:56 AM
Jun 2022

You have made the point I am not successful in making at all, possibly because I am a cis female who came along pre-Title IX and never got to be the athlete I wanted to be and possibly because my ability to explain gender as it relates to genetics is limited.

But yeah, the reich-wing attacks on trans people go right along with all the rest of their attacks on gay people. They are a distraction from everything else they want to control...which, BTW, they are succeeding at in many places.

And while we're at it, consider this...while they're attacking trans women and girls in sports, the law has had an effect on a young trans male in Tennessee, who just wants to play golf on the boys' team at his high school but isn't allowed to by a new law. Of course he could play on the girls team, he says, but that would be being true to himself.



(1,962 posts)
8. You're welcome
Wed Jun 1, 2022, 10:05 PM
Jun 2022

And thank you for being an ally and listening and being supportive

Someone - Drumpf? Some think tank? - decided in 2022 that the focus of attack for the QOP is the trans community. If it's not trying to prevent teens from getting treatment and transitioning, it's going off about women's sports. If it's not women's sports, it's bathrooms. The whole thing comes down to irrational fear and/or hatred of the trans community. For them, sports are just a means to bludgeon trans people. If Lia Thomas never existed, they would've invented her - just like they did with the "welfare mom who could buy a Cadillac" 40 years ago.

I did participate in sports as a teen, thinking something was wrong with me, I'm crazy, trying to over-compensate to "be normal", etc.. Some of which I enjoyed and I'm glad I did (baseball). Some of which I wish I'd never done (football). As much as I loved sports and as much as everyone wants "Fair play", the reality is discrepancies in talent will always exist. No matter how hard I worked, I was never going to be a pro. I was probably 95% effort, 5% talent at best. Nothing was going to change the fact, regardless of gender, that a good number of these players were far superior to me. Quite a few got scholarships. At least one got drafted and played in the minor leagues. Would being on the field with players that superior to me be "unfair"? Some people probably think so. It's just reality.

Babe Ruth's offensive numbers during his career were 106% better than the average player during the time he played. Wilt Chamberlain was a 7'1" track star who just happened to be skilled in basketball, and made the rest of the league look silly thanks to his combination of size and talent.

For 99.9% of athletes in high school, and probably 95% in college, the only thing that's going to come from it is competing and perhaps a scholarship. These people will finish school and go onto some other profession. Only the best of the best - and only in certain sports - are going to go from being a student athlete to a pro athlete. Many are going to look back with fond memories, or sit on the sofa like Al Bundy and talk about their 4 touchdown game.

I love golf with a passion... Well, the game. Can't say I much enjoy the culture. But if you were to give me the best clubs in the world, and have me go out without any transitioning at all to face the best female player in the world... I'd be lucky to lose by only 60 strokes. "Broad shoulders" and "puberty" and "chromosomes" would not change the biggest issue there: Lack of talent.

I've also poked around on the social media pages of a few of my right-wing ex-friends. They of course are screaming about "getting 'men' out of women's sports" and "fair play!" Cool story, bros. Because you know how they felt about women's sports prior to 2022? "The only role that women have in sports is to be hot cheerleaders", "Sports are for men, not girls!" and "Get out! The boys are watching sports! Wait... While you're here? Gimme a beer and a sammich!" When this battle gets resolved, they'll go back to "Quit wasting money on stupid stuff like gymnastics and give that money to the footbaw program!" and derogatory, misogynistic comments about the WNBA.

As far as the affect we're seeing of these awful bills? There is one state where they passed one of these bills and there is one trans athlete in the state. One. They were playing field hockey... not anymore. Now there is this golfer in Tennessee who is likely in a catch-22: Female to male, not allowed to golf with the boys... but the moment he tries to join the girls' team, they'll scream "Unfair advantage!" because of taking hormones, and kick him off the boys team. The result? Not allowed to play golf at all.

And this is why some of us speak up so loudly... Because that's the desired result. It's not about "use the right bathroom" or "play on the right team"... It's about "don't use any bathroom" and "don't play at all" and, well... Let's not kid ourselves. The QOP flat-out does not want us to exist.

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