February 4, 2022
"Thomas has reportedly told her teammates that she dates women."
Why should that be a problem? I'm sure Lia identifies as a lesbian.
Teammates say they are uncomfortable changing in locker room with trans UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas
A member of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team said some team members are uncomfortable changing in the locker room with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, according to a teammate.
Thomas, 22, who spent the previous three years swimming with the men’s team before she began transitioning to a woman, has created an uneasy environment in the locker room, as she still retains her biologically male genitalia — which are sometimes exposed — and is attracted to women, one teammate told the Daily Mail in an interview.
“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the swimmer said. Thomas has reportedly told her teammates that she dates women.
The swimmer told the outlet that other team members have spoken to the team’s coaches about possibly getting Thomas to change elsewhere from the rest of the team, but those discussions haven’t gone anywhere
“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” she said. “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.”
She added, “It’s really upsetting because Lia doesn’t seem to care how it makes anyone else feel. The 35 of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one.”
“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 teammate told the Daily Mail.
The swimmer said that Thomas “seems like she enjoys” all the attention the controversy has brought to her.
“It’s affected all of us way more than it’s affected her,” Thomas’ teammate said.
The swimmer told the outlet that most of the team is scared to speak out about their discomfort 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,” she 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.'”
Some teammates have discussed possibly protesting a swim meet, she said, but many don’t want to possibly put their swim careers on hold after having lost a year of competition to the COVID-19 pandemic.