USA Swimming Officials Running Scared as One of Their Own Turns on LGBTQ Swimmers Policy

Marco Ciccolella/
Marco Ciccolella/

One of the first things that children begin to identify with their tiny still developing eyes, is the difference between men and women. It begins with “mama” and “dada” (well, really “dada” and then “mama” let’s be honest) and spreads to their own identity and to others met on the street.

You don’t have to have been a parent for long to have already experienced your child “misgendering” someone while waiting in line or walking the grocery store to understand the embarrassment that comes from seeing someone realize that one of the most important things their identity is tied up in is something that can’t be readily recognized by others.

However, like any painfully necessary for life, the confused have begun to tamper with it and it’s a political issue now, to have gender dysmorphia. As is the case with swimmer Lia Thomas, who spent his first three years at the University of Pennsylvania swimming as a man, before transitioning to live and compete as a woman.

As one might expect, Thomas has been smashing women’s swim records, and it’s not sitting well with some US Swimming officials who have said that it’s just not fair to the women in the competition to have to now compete against a person who, biologically speaking, is a man.

One such official is Cynthia Millen who resigned after three decades as part of the organization and said that she must protest the transgender swimmer, saying she hopes that other officials follow her lead.

On December 17 the swimming official sent a letter to USA Swimming saying that she had packed for the US Paralympics Swimming National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina but decided she couldn’t do it and pulled out of the event.

“I told my fellow officials that I can no longer participate in a sport which allows biological men to compete against women. Everything fair about swimming is being destroyed,” she said in her letter, which she shared with The Washington Times. “People are saying, ‘Why don’t the swimmers just leave?’ Well, those are 19-, 20-year-old kids,” said Ms. Millen. “It’s up to us. We’re the ones who are supposed to be providing this fair competition. We should be the ones who should be saying, wait a minute. This is not right because by doing this, we’re supporting this,” said Ms. Millen. “There are no swim meets if there are no officials.

According to the Times, Thomas has been competing in events and is blowing away previous records, and has his eye on doing away with the records of some of the most iconic Olympic greats such as Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, which would mean the end of an era of women’s sports as we know it.

Millen isn’t going to stand for it, and she said as much in her letter, explaining that if Thomas came onto her deck as a referee, she would have to speak to the coaches and tell them that he was not qualified to swim, saying that he cannot compete with the women because it’s not fair to the girls who aren’t built the same way that he is. She argued that it’s not just about the hormones coursing through the male body, versus the female body (which has been of debate and dismissed because of hormone replacement), but it has to do with the way that this essentially fully grown male has developed as a person, with advantages over women in muscle mass, lung capacity, and skeletal structure:

“I don’t mean to be critical of Lia — whatever’s going on, Lia’s a child of God, a precious person — but bodies swim against bodies,” Millen said during an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham. “That’s a male body swimming against females. And that male body can never change. That male body will always be a male body. Boys are built differently than girls. I mean, we know that: Boys have the T-shape, the broad shoulders, the narrow hips,” said Millen. “Girls have the hips, they’ve got more drag, they’ve got boobs, they’ve got body fat.”

And while many girls would object to having their hips, boobs and fat called out on national televisions (or any other format for that matter) there’s a time and a place for everything, and the time and place for Lia (Will) Thomas, is not in the pool with the girls with all their hips and boobs and drag. Thomas may well need to find a different type of drag if he’s going to fully feel at home.