A female athlete is urging people to stop using the term “biological woman” in the ongoing debate about the presence of trans-identified males in women’s sports that she characterizes as “spiritual warfare.”
Riley Gaines, a former college swimmer who has become an outspoken critic of policies allowing trans-identified males to compete on women’s sports teams, addressed the crowd at the Family Research Council’s Pray, Vote, Stand Summit last week.
She recounted the story of how her career as a collegiate women’s swimmer was turned upside down when a trans-identified male athlete began competing on the women’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania after competing on the men’s swimming team for three years.
Lia Thomas, the trans-identified athlete, faced off against Gaines, a student at the University of Kentucky, at a swimming tournament last year. While the two tied for fifth place, National Collegiate Athletic Association officials told Gaines that Thomas had to pose for the picture with the fifth-place trophy. In her remarks Friday, Gaines lamented the “photo op” in addition to the fact that she and other female swimmers had to undress in a locker room with Thomas, who has male genitalia.