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Let Lia Thomas Compete as Herself

by Avery Nixon

If you are a fan of women’s sports, or you are someone who never cared before but you are looking for a reason to bash women, you have probably heard the name Lia Thomas.

Thomas is an astounding women’s swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is constantly crushing the competition. However, some may say her victory can be credited to the fact she was born male.

There’s the overwhelming argument that it is unfair to have a “man” swim with women. Lia Thomas is not a man. Thomas is a woman who, according to Swimming World Magazine, began “transitioning and undergoing hormone-suppressant therapy … having met antiquated NCAA guidelines that — prior to the season — only required one year of testosterone suppression.

For anyone to say they’re not transphobic, only to call a transgender woman a man, is disgusting.

Thomas has clearly demonstrated her devotion to becoming her true self. This isn’t just some con to win in collegiate athletics; it is her entire life that is being altered.

If that still doesn’t convince you to let her swim, here’s a reality check: every top player in every sport is genetically superior to the rest. That is why they’re winners.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. You can train as hard as you can, but you will not beat Usain Bolt in a race.

Dr. Sam Allen of Loughborough University claims “the best sprinters will always benefit from having a huge amount of natural ability.”

Olivier Rioux, a 15-year-old who is a towering 7 feet, 5 inches tall is the tallest teenager in the world, according to the Guinness World Records.

Should Rioux be banned from playing high school basketball because he’s taller than NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal? Clearly, no other high schooler stands a chance at blocking him or preventing him from shooting the ball way over their heads.

One of the most famous swimmers in the world, Michael Phelps, has multiple incredible advantages, including double-jointed ankles, a disproportionately wide wingspan and a naturally reduced production rate of lactic acid, which causes fatigue when it builds up. He is biologically superior to his male competition, yet he is still viable to compete and win.

Evidently, most athletes will encounter someone who is born with natural talent and will complete a challenge effortlessly.

From a biological standpoint, Thomas should be able to compete. But, there’s another issue that is just as important.

Transgender people have never had it easy. They have faced horrific hate crimes, higher rates of murder and torment for decades now.

The American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that “more than half of transgender male teens who participated in the survey reported attempting suicide in their lifetime, while 29.9% of transgender female teens said they attempted suicide.”

It is selfish, ignorant and disgusting that people care more about placing in a competition than the safety and acceptance of their teammate. The whole world calling you a man and hating you for doing what you love must be extremely detrimental to one’s mental health, not to mention the hormone treatments and the insecurities transitioning people have to deal with.

Thomas’ teammates and the new so-called fans of collegiate women’s swimming should accept the fact that Thomas is a female competitor and she is a fantastic swimmer.

Thomas trains just as hard as everyone else and has gotten to that spot for a reason. Whether she has an advantage or not, she is a human being who deserves to be treated with compassion.

If you’re a college athlete and you think your problems within a sport are more severe than the livelihoods of transgender people, you should read up on all the struggles they face and what they went through as a community.

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