Former teammate of Lia Thomas, a transgender collegiate swimmer, Paula Scanlan, has come forward in a new interview titled “What Is A Woman,” exposing the university that silenced her experience regarding the athlete’s participation in women’s sports. Scanlan recounted the discomfort and unfairness faced by female athletes, admitting that the presence of Lia Thomas in the female locker room caused unease. She also revealed that the athletic department and university administration tried to silence any dissent or criticism, providing counseling services to help the female athletes be okay with Thomas swimming.
NEW: Lia Thomas' former teammate reveals disgusting details about sharing a locker room with him in new interview.
“It was definitely uncomfortable.”
“You hear all these women’s voices, and then all of a sudden you hear a man’s voice.”
Those poor women!https://t.co/i0APUdmTZR
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) June 6, 2023
Scanlan disclosed how the announcement of Will Thomas’ conversion to women’s sports created discomfort and unease among the female athletes. The university had initially stated Thomas would change in a different locker room or stay in the men’s locker room. However, there was never an extensive discussion. Scanlan only discovered that Thomas would have a locker in the female locker room because she saw the room chart. Therefore, Paula accepted the reality that Lia would be competing with women.
As a Taiwanese citizen as well as a US citizen. I’m able to see first hand the impact the decisions we make in America have on the world. Americans we need to step up and do the right thing.
— Paula Scanlan (@PaulaYScanlan) June 6, 2023
Lia Thomas, before his transition, competed on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team from 2017 to 2020. Thomas later competed on the women’s swim team from 2021 to 2022, becoming the first openly transgender athlete to win a NCAA Division I national championship in any sport. His success drew public attention and sparked controversy about transgender participation in women’s sports.
Female athletes felt uneasy about changing in the same room as Lia Thomas, noting that they saw a few girls changing in bathroom stalls for practice. Paula admitted that what bothered her the most was suddenly hearing a man’s voice while changing. Paula Scanlan disclosed that the university tried to silence the concerns of the female athletes. One teammate initially expressed her discomfort and discussed the issue with the athletic department. However, after a meeting with the department, her opinions were allegedly changed, leading Paula to believe that the university was trying to keep any dissent against the transgender athlete quiet.
They were instructed not to talk to the media, otherwise, they would regret it. The athletic department and university administration made it clear that Lia swimming was a non-negotiable element. Such apathy and hostility demonstrated by the university and athletic department towards female athletes and the issue were deeply discouraging. Professional female athletes already quit over this, and there seems to be no hopeful solution in sight. It is highly uncertain whether there will genuinely be female sports, as participation by transgender athletes in female sports significantly disadvantages female athletes.