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Swimmer receives transphobic insults in American competition

Swimmer receives transphobic insults in American competition

Leah Thomas defeated Erica Sullivan and Emma Wyand, medalists at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Mike Comer / NCAA photos via Getty Images

Again, Transphobia creates rejection in the sports world, this time in the first division final of the National University Sports Association (NCAA), a university league in the United States, where a swimmer suffered severe discrimination.

Leah Thomas became the first transgender person to win the competition, followed by Tokyo Olympics medalists Erica Sullivan and Emma Wyand. While success is a historical fact, for many it is not. Screams like “This is a man” were heard from the stand with banners reading “Save the Women’s Game”.

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This is not the first time Thomas has raised different questions, and throughout his history he has had to struggle to participate among women. In 2019, he decided to stop living like Will and change his gender to live like Leah. During that time, he competed in the men’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and later competed among women.

“There was a lot of uncertainty. I did not know what he could do. As a man for the 2018 season, I decided to swim without coming out of the toilet. It caused me so much pain. I struggled, my mental health was not good. I decided it was time to start the change, “said David Cook, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.

“I’m happy with my time, even my coaches, and that’s what worries me,” he replied in a television interview. In addition, he promised: “I’m scared because I do not know how to swim, I want to compete and I want to see how fast I can go”.

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As soon as he changed his gender, a group of female swimmers asked him to be removed from the team. It was in a letter sent by former Olympic swimmer Nancy Hawkshead-Mager to the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League: 16 female swimmers argued that Thomas should be barred from the women’s competition. Still, there were those who argued that she should compete with women because she considered herself a woman.

Meanwhile, he was able to complete 12 months of testosterone suppression therapy. His treatment coincided with the 2020-21 season, when he was suspended due to a Govt-19 infection. Now, from November 2021, she has returned to compete with women and has begun to break records.

Doubts persist, but the swimmer has met all the necessary hormonal requirements, in which his participation is completely legal.