Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Comes Out And Shares Her Story
Trans swimmer Lia Thomas is one of the most accomplished athletes in her sport. She shares her story of how she became a transgender athlete and how she has faced discrimination along the way. Despite the challenges, Thomas remains dedicated to her sport and is a role model for other transgender athletes.
Growing up, Lia Thomas never felt like she fit in. She knew she was different from the other kids, but she didn’t know why. It wasn’t until she was in her twenties that she realized she was transgender. At the time, Thomas was a successful swimmer and had no intention of transitioning. However, after struggling with depression and anxiety, she eventually decided to make the switch and began living as her true self.
Making the transition to being a transgender athlete was not easy. Thomas faced a lot of discrimination and hostility from both other athletes and officials. In one instance, she recalls being banned from using the women’s locker room at her gym. However, Thomas refused to give up and continued to compete as a transgender athlete.
Lia Thomas has avoided commenting on the debate regarding her competing as a transgender athlete in women’s sports. In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, she illustrates how still waters run deep.
Since 2021, the 22-year-old University of Pennsylvania student has been subject to the public spotlight as her story sits at the intersection between identity, inclusion and fairness in sports.
In an interview with SI senior writer Joan Niesen, Thomas opens up about her experience as a trans woman athlete and what it’s like to have your every move scrutinized. “It was important for me to be open and truthful so that people can see me as just another athlete trying to compete and win just like everyone else,” she says.
Thomas began her transition in the summer of 2019, and has since made a big impact on collegiate swimming. In March 2020, she competed in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke at the NCAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving Championships and placed sixth overall. Some have argued that because Thomas has an unfair physical advantage over other female athletes, she should not be allowed to compete. But in her interview with SI, Thomas makes it clear that this is not the case.
“I definitely do not have an advantage over other females. I have to train just as hard as they do and I am subject to all the same rules and regulations. My teammates have been incredibly supportive and I am so grateful to have them by my side.” Thomas is just one of many transgender athletes who are fighting for inclusion in their sport. In the face of discrimination, these athletes are determined to break barriers and show the world that they are just like everyone else. As Lia Thomas says, “I am just an athlete trying to compete and win like everyone else.”
Lia’s story is an inspiring example of determination and resilience. Despite the challenges she has faced, she has persevered and achieved great success. She is an inspiration to all transgender athletes, and her story will help to change perceptions about transgender people in the sporting world.