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Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines has led the charge in speaking out against against biological males competing in women’s athletics.
But despite revealing she has received countless private messages supporting her stance — many from elite athletes– the former Wildcats’ swimmer realized that is a major part of the problem.
Gaines, 23, spoke Tuesday just prior to attending the 2023 State of the Union address, where he received an invite from a Michigan congresswoman.
“At first, I felt honored when elite (both female and male) athletes thanked me for taking a public stance on having male-bodied athletes in women’s sports and locker rooms,” Gaines tweeted. “Now I realize these private thanks make them responsible for this continuing and advancing as it has.”
Riley Gaines was directly impacted by rules
The 23-year-old became an activist against transgender women participating on female sports teams after she was forced to go head-to-head with University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas.
Earlier this year, Gaines slammed President Joe BIden for proposing to change the definition of ‘sex’ in a federal civil rights law to include ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity.’
The changes to Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government, would therefore allow transgender female athletes to compete against biological women in sports.
By doing so, Gaines wrote in an essay, biological women would be placed at a disadvantage when competing against transgender women.
Gaines used the opportunity to recount how she was forced to share a locker room with Thomas at the NCAA Championships back in March.
“I saw a 6’4′ male exposing male parts in our women’s locker room.”
‘To be perfectly clear, the anatomy I and many other women were forced to view, confirms Thomas is a male.’
Gaines said she then asked National Collegiate Athletic Association officials where she could change as I had no intention of undressing in front of a man.
‘They informed me that there were no protections in place for me to change in a space that Thomas did not have access to.
‘To summarize, the NCAA put the onus on the female to avoid undressing in front of a biological man with biological parts who is sexually attracted to women. Let that sink in,” Gaines said.
It’s clear Riley Gaines has now become the voice for female athletes speaking out against biological males competing against them — and according to her recent tweet — she hopes more elite athletes will go public instead of worrying about backlash they may face.