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Transgender swimmer 'Lia' Thomas, next to Riley GainesYouTube screenshot

DALLAS (LifeSiteNews) – Several female professional athletes appeared this past weekend at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to speak out about how the forced inclusion of biological males in sex-specific athletic competitions have impaired sporting and competition for actual women.

The Post Millennial reported that collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines and professional skateboarder Taylor Silverman, both of whom have been denied first-place recognition by being made to compete against men claiming to be “trans women,” spoke out about their experiences during a CPAC panel.

Gaines shared her experience of tying with University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas for fifth place at the NCAA championships’ 200 freestyle competition. Despite both swimmers performing the same, Thomas was given a trophy to pose with for photos, and Gaines had to settle for one coming in the mail.

“It was at this point I realized that they’re trying to save face here,” she told CPAC. “The NCAA mismanaged this.”

The issue isn’t just a matter of fair play, she added. Thomas identifies as a female yet retains male genitalia and reportedly remains attracted to women (despite self-identifying as lesbian), which has generated unease among his actual female teammates who have to share lockers with him.

“I actually talked with a swimmer who is a survivor of sexual trauma, and being in the locker room with a male and seeing male parts has completely retriggered everything,” Gaines said.

Silverman has been forced to compete against men on at least three separate occasions, the third of which being the Red Bull 2021 Cornerstone Skate Series, where she placed second to Lillian Gallagher, thereby losing out on thousands of dollars in prize money.

“Over the past few years, I’ve noticed this happening more and more,” Silverman told CPAC. “The first couple of times that it happened to me, I assumed that it would eventually be a funny story that we joked about that unfortunately happened to a few of us, but then got stopped because it was obviously unfair. But finally, I made the decision to speak up […] It was a moral obligation for me to use my voice.”

“It impacted my mental health,” she continued. “I was very upset about it. I felt like I wasn’t following my values of speaking up for myself, and calling something out when I saw something wrong happening. So, in those months that I stayed silent, I was suffering and there’s young girls suffering. There’s other athletes suffering in other sports, and these girls matter too.”

“And we shouldn’t put one person’s feelings over everybody else’s when the consequences are severe,” Silverman declared. “I actually felt grateful that I didn’t compete in a combat sport or a contact sport because I thought all I lost was a paycheck, but I didn’t have to physically get hurt.”

Forced inclusion of gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is billed as a matter of sensitivity and respect for perceived “gender identity.” But critics argue that indulging transgender athletes in this way undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities.

Scientific research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated by hormone suppression.

In a paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy”; therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”