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Transgender controversy takes college swimming by storm

WASHINGTON (TND) — A swimming official who recently resigned in protest of transgender athlete Lia Thomas’s perceived competitive edge in women’s swimming is speaking out.

Thomas is negatively impacting women’s swimming, according to Cynthia Millen, a USA Swimming official said on The National Desk, citing the controversy. She resigned last week after three decades of officiating USA swimming meets, citing the controversy.

The National Desk interview with Cynthia Millen, former USA Swimmer official. The National Desk. (TND)

Thomas is breezing through competitions, breaking several records at the University of Pennsylvania this past season after taking testosterone suppressants.

“The fact is that swimming is a sport in which bodies compete against bodies. Identities do not compete against identities,” Millen said. “Men are different from women, men swimmers are different from women, and they will always be faster than women.”

She expressed a similar sentiment in a recent interview on Fox News.

In her resignation letter, Millen’s called Thomas’s participation unfair, writing that she can “no longer participate in a sport that allows biological men to compete against women.”

Photo of University of Pennsylvania transgender female swimmer Lia Thomas. Courtesy University of Pennsylvania Athletics.

Thomas — who recently earned a winning time of 4:34:06 in the 500-yard freestyle finals, setting a new Ivy League record — competed as a man at the University of Pennsylvania for two seasons. Men must subject themselves to a year of testosterone suppression before they can compete as women, per NCAA rules.

During her appearance on Fox News, Millen detailed when she said were the advantages males have over females in swimming, including that “boys will always have larger lung capacity, larger hearts, greater circulation, a bigger skeleton, and less fat.”

Millen is not alone in her opposition.

A group of University of Pennsylvania swimmers considered boycotting their final home meet in January, citing Thomas’ advantages as a biological male competing in a female league, according to a Wednesday Daily Mail report. The group ultimately decided against a boycott over concerns they might be banned from the Ivy League Championship, the report noted.

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration’s stance toward transgender people. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Transgender groups are noticing a trend with respect to how the public views gender issues in sports.

People opposed to transgender female athletes competing against women are winning the debate, primarily because they are shaping the narrative within the broader media landscape, according to the Transgender Law Center, a group devoted to promoting transgender issues.

There is a huge gap in awareness and concern, with most base and persuadable respondents unaware of proposals regarding transgender girls’ participation in sports, while a strong majority of our opposition has heard some or a lot about it,” the group noted in a recent memo hashing out to persuade the public.

The group’s analysis shows what happens when some media focus on transgender issues, while other media mostly ignore the issue, some media pundits argue.

Cases like this one (Lia Thomas) swing massively *against* defenders of the policy,” Ryan Grim, a political commentator for liberal outlet The Young Turks, wrote on Twitter recently, referring to the Transgender Law Center’s research.

“They also found that trans rights supporters are generally unaware of the issue, as the MSM ignores it,” Grim noted.

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