In New Interview, Lia Thomas Says ‘Trans Women Competing … Doesn’t Threaten Women’s Sports’

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Lia Thomas is breaking her silence on her participation in women’s swimming.

The University of Pennsylvania swimmer, who was the first transgender swimmer to win an NCAA championship, gave an on-air interview to ABC News and ESPN, Thomas’ first comments since competing in March.

With the exception of the on-deck TV interview after winning the NCAA championship in the 500 freestyle, Lia Thomas hadn’t spoken to any media outlet since Sports Illustrated, prior to the NCAA Championships. Thomas declined to attend the press conference following her victory, which was mandatory for all event winners, according to the NCAA.

Thomas’ participation generated a lot of controversy with many believing her participation was not fair to women after Thomas competed on the Penn men’s team for three years before transitioning.

However, Thomas underwent the NCAA-mandated year of hormone therapy and followed every NCAA rule.

“Trans women competing in women’s sports does not threaten women’s sports as a whole,” Thomas told ABC News and ESPN. “Trans women are a very small minority of all athletes. The NCAA rules regarding trans women competing in women’s sports have been around for 10-plus years. And we haven’t seen any massive wave of trans women dominating.”

Thomas, however, did dominate in the 500 freestyle. Part of the response to Thomas’ participation also came from the fear of her taking qualifying spots or scholarship spots away from women.

Lia Thomas responded to that as well as the idea of putting transgender swimmers in a different competitive category.

“It’s not taking away opportunities from cis women, really. Trans women are women, so it’s still a woman who is getting that scholarship or that opportunity. If you say, like, you can compete, but you can’t score or you’re in an extra lane nine, that’s very othering towards trans people,” Thomas said in the interview. “And it is not offering them the same level of respect and opportunity to play and to compete.”

She also addressed critics who believed she transitioned to become a champion.

“The biggest misconception, I think, is the reason I transitioned,” Lia Thomas told ABC News and ESPN. “People will say, ‘Oh, she just transitioned so she would have an advantage, so she could win.’ I transitioned to be happy, to be true to myself. … I’ve been able to do the sport that I love as my authentic self.”

Thomas told ABC News she plans to continue swimming through the Olympic trials in 2024, though she would have to have followed USA Swimming’s stricter hormone policy.

“I intend to keep swimming,” Thomas said on the on-air interview. “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.”

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SETH
29 days ago

Ms. Thomas is wise beyond her years, and a great role model, I wish her all my best.

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Peter Scott
28 days ago
Reply to  SETH

If being ‘wise’ is self-absorbed and selfish when others are involved……..

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Michael
28 days ago
Reply to  SETH

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

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billy
29 days ago

Well, he’s back to cause more trouble in our great sport. If he is a female, then so is my male dog Duncan. He has caused nothing but problems and I wish he would just go away and live his life the way he wants to. He seems to only care about himself, not real women or competitive swimming. He’s got issues, lots of them. Stop this insanity!

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  billy

Children wish away their problems. Adults work through them.

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Michael
28 days ago

And your point is? “Lia” is an example of someone who has “worked through his problems”” by taking a few hormones and impersonating the opposite sex?

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

My point is that adults don’t whine and cry and, as you put it: “wish he would just go away”.

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Michael
28 days ago

But it’s OK for adult men with an obvious physical advantage to compete as “women” in elite women’’s sports? And it’s an “adult” move for a fully intact heterosexual male to parade around naked in a college women’s locker room, knowing that he’s making a lot the women uncomfortable? And no one “whines and cries” as you put it, quite like trans activists when reasonable criticisms are raised against your ideology (“those words are violence!”). And by way, learn to read, l’m not Billy.

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robert kravutske
29 days ago

maybe lia can to work for the wnba???…..

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Bill Price
29 days ago

Lia Thomas is a shiny object designed to distract people from the underlying issue with transgender athletes. It doesn’t matter what she has to say about anything. Attacking her doesn’t make sense because, as we’re been reminded thousands of times, she has followed the rules. The issue is the rules structure that allows this to happen in the first place. That is what needs to be changed. Focusing disdain towards Lia Thomas is pointless.

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  Bill Price

Exactly. We need to admit we all support Discrimination in the basis of sex in sports and move on.

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Michael
28 days ago

Women’s sports exist for a reason; men have inherent advantages in sports requiring speed, strength and endurance. “Trans women” are men who identify as women. Men do not belong in women’s sports (or locker rooms). That’s not “Discrimination” fool.

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Maybe you don’t know what discrimination is.

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Michael
28 days ago

Enlighten me.

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Michael
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

I’m waiting. Your problem is that you are incapable of mounting any substantive defense of trans ideology (and ultimately Lia Thomas). That’s because trans ideology simply can’t withstand scrutiny; it’s riddled with contradictions. The main issue is that sex can’t be changed; it’s biologically impossible. That’s why it’s not “discriminatory” to keep Lia Thomas out of women’s swimming. He is not a woman. It’s that simple.

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Fairness is dumb
27 days ago
Reply to  Michael

What’s to defend?

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Fairness is dumb
27 days ago
Reply to  Michael

To discriminate is to recognize and understand the differences between two things. In this case, it’s recognizing and understanding the biological differences between the two sexes.

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Michael
27 days ago

You are making zero sense.There are indeed immutable biological differences between the two sexes; men have inherent biological advantages in speed, strength and endurance. That is precisely why women’s sports exist. Lia Thomas is a natal (I.e. biological) male. He is not and will never be a woman. That’s why he doesn’t belong in women’s sports. HE.IS.NOT.A.WOMAN.

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Bill Price
27 days ago

As I read through some of the responses to your own response to my post, I believe some misunderstood what you were trying to say. Discrimination is, indeed, needed in sport. It is the very reason we have two sex categories in sport to begin with. It’s not a bad thing in this case. However, ‘discrimination’ is a word used so often nowadays in a negative sense that we forget that sometimes it’s necessary.

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Chris Laurie
28 days ago
Reply to  Bill Price

The system and the imbalanced notion of gender movement is what got us here today. That needs to be the focus of the current disdain. Not men, nor someone named Lia. It is the imbalanced thought process that rules this chaotic roost, focus on that.

Need proof? Here you go:

Females: equality is the endgame.
Females (again): what, males we vigorously empowered to become females, these males can compete in sport as equally as females and reduce our chances of winning, and take things away from us? No wait, that wasn’t the equality we spoke of. Our equality is different. This isn’t right.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Equal is two lines in both directions. You gave away your right to be upset about this new age imbalance ages ago.

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Michael
28 days ago

Arrogant, entitled, narcissistic, self-absorbed, unrepentant and above all enabled by UPenn, the Ivy League, the NCAA, the MSM and the rest of the gender ideologues. Beyond disgusting.

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

You should boycott…

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Michael
28 days ago

Incomprehenible.

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Fairness is dumb
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Spelling error.

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Michael
28 days ago

That’s the best you can do?

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WAYNE SMITH
28 days ago

The date is April 2024, outside the NCAA Womens swim championships hundreds of trans women are protesting. They are mad that trans women were not able to compete in the 2024 Olympics due to the very low hormone policy. Meanwhile Yale is leading the Womens NCAA Swimming Championships over 200 points higher than Penn. So far trans women have won every relay (double points) and placed first, second and third in every event. With an education at Yale over $125,000 per year the school has become a giant in women’s swimming. Many of the amazing women’s records have been smashed by new trans women swarming to the sport.

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Dean
28 days ago

The biology of this situation is not being understood.

Namely, that if a biological male transitions AFTER puberty, then a male’s generally larger, anthropometric measurements will predominately remain male.

Estrogen-replacement doesn’t make one’s arms shorter, or make one’s shoulders, hands, feet or wingspan smaller (not to mention the cardiovascular advantages that postpubertal males usually possess).

It is those issues which should be concentrated on – and leave the politics of transitioning out of the equation, as it makes one’s arguments personal, and not medical, in nature.

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Michael
27 days ago
Reply to  Dean

The biological truth is even simpler; from a biological standpoint, men cannot somehow transform or “transition” into women. Lia Thomas was born male, will die male, and if exhumed 100 years after death, his bones will be readily identifiable as those of an adult human male. “Transition” is a misleading term; it simply marks the point in time when he fully commits to impersonating the opposite sex. In “Lia’s” case, he “transitioned” in his physical prime, after he had already (as “William” Thomas) bested the NCAA women’s 500 record by six seconds. The question isn’t how best to “transition” such a person (I.e. suppress his physicality) so as to allow him to compete with women on a supposedly level. Rather, the question is whether such a man should be allowed to compete with elite women swimmers in the NCAA or in the Olympics in the first instance.

A “woman” is not a hormonally degraded man with long hair who says he *really* thinks he’s a woman. Five or so years ago, everyone knew this. However,well-intentioned people who do not wish to give offense have allowed trans activists to dictate policy. Next level virtue signaling has triumphed over reason, logic and biological reality. There is (unfortunately) a significant political dimension to this, because the erasure of sex has highly significant political, legal and social implications. This is about much more than swimming.

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Dean
26 days ago
Reply to  Michael

I must respectfully disagree. The key, gender hormones – estrogen, and testosterone – play a substantial role in not just physicality, but in the development of one’s emotions, and personality.

As such, your comment, “…transitioning simply marks the point in time when he fully commits to impersonating the opposite sex…” is medically incorrect.

Now, as I’d said in my original post, if a male transitions AFTER puberty, then testosterone-induced changes will generally give them a distinct advantage over cis-females, when it comes to most athletic pursuits.

But, that said, demonizing those who are transgender as ‘impersonators’ doesn’t further the conversation; though, on the other side of the equation, I’ve read that Lia Thomas believes she’s simply equal to cis-females – which is an opinion I can find no scientific validation to support.

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Michael
23 days ago
Reply to  Dean

Respectfully, I have no idea what you’re trying to say. “Transitioning” allegedly does what “medically” speaking?

“ ‘Trans rights’ means the right to lie about your sex. ‘Transphobia’ is refusing to believe that lie.” Venice Allen

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Dean
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Yes, Michael, I agree, this is complex subject – both medically, and politically. But, biologically speaking, when one ‘transitions,’ they initially take hormonal-measures to substantially change their physical gender, with surgery usually following.

Now, Lia Thomas transitioned long after puberty; so, she possesses testosterone-generated body characteristics which give her a substantial advantage over biological females, when it comes to athletic pursuits.

But, in my view, her current refusal to be forthright about her physical advantages is creating a toxic environment for the swimming-community; and her actions are simultaneously casting an unfairly negative light on all transgendered individuals.

As we currently live in a ‘rage makes the front page’ culture, I feel that, in this case, the most productive way forward is not mixing politics with medicine. The biology of this situation can stand on its own to give us a fair, impartial result.

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GSW
27 days ago

This makes me wonder if someone or some group has encouraged Lia through all of this. She has the intellect to understand the situation, but yet she went ahead and competed in the women’s category.

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Seth Huston
27 days ago

Thomas and the trans activists want to impose their world view on the rest of society. Gender ID in class, work, behind close doors generally does not negatively affect or hurt others. Go for it. But please don’t take your male biological physiology to the female biological physiology athletic events that have been separately established to create fair competition and say that it does not have a negative affect socially, emotionally and competitively on the very people you purport to identify with in gender. Those actions say it’s all about you. Inclusion in sport can be achieved in other creative ways. Try “Open” competition for starters.

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Michael
27 days ago
Reply to  Seth Huston

Well said.

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Sam
26 days ago

Let trans women compete with men and trans men compete with women. Biological gender should be used to determine men and women divisions. That way we can be ourselves and still do the sport we love.

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