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Riley Gaines (right) beside William Thomas (left), a manFox News/YouTube screenshot

TUCSON, Arizona (LifeSiteNews) — A former teammate of University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas is speaking out after the “transgender” icon’s fawning interview on Good Morning America, arguing it was apparent that Thomas is “mentally ill.”

Thomas, who “transitioned” to identifying as a female yet retains male genitalia and reportedly remains heterosexual (despite self-identifying as lesbian), has generated unease among his actual female teammates, partly due to having to share lockers and partly due to his domination of women’s swimming competitions since switching from the men’s team.

“I don’t need anybody’s permission to be myself and to do the sport that I love,” Thomas told GMA on Tuesday. Responding to those who point out that his male physiology gives him competitive advantages over true women, even with cross-sex hormone treatments, he said, “I’m not a medical expert, but there’s a lot of variation among cis female athletes. There are cis women who are very tall and very muscular and have more testosterone than another cis woman, and should that then also disqualify them?”

“You can tell he is mentally ill,” a female UPenn student who swam with Thomas last season told the Washington Examiner. “I saw the video and was so disgusted.” The student gave the interview on condition of anonymity; students and their parents reportedly fear reprisals from the school for speaking out publicly.

“When asked about the question of fairness, Lia said, ‘Well, I’m happy.’ Lia completely ignored the question, dodged the question,” the swimmer continued. “If you want to talk about happiness, what about everyone else’s happiness? What about mine? What about my teammates?’”

“What about the swimmers who Lia bumped out of medals at the NCAA championships?” she asked. “What about the girl who finished ninth and finals? The girl that finished 17th? The girl who finished second to Lia? What about their happiness? What about all their hard work?”

“And to say, ‘Oh, well, I am happy,’ it is just so narcissistic. And to not even acknowledge how other girls might feel, it’s selfish and disgusting,” the student lamented. “It proves that Lia only cared about prioritizing Lia’s happiness above everybody else’s. It’s absurd. You don’t have an argument as to why this should be OK.”

The unidentified swimmer is far from alone in her discontent. Despite Thomas placing first in a NCAA 500-yard freestyle final in March, the audience in attendance was reportedly much more enthused for actual female swimmer Emma Weyant, who placed second and was dubbed the “real winner” on social media.

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 — as has been the case with Thomas’s performance. Scientific research affirms that physiology gives males distinct advantages in athletics, which hormone suppression does not suffice to cancel out.

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.”