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Transgender tyranny in women’s swimming: How Emma Weyant was cheated

Emma Weyant
Emma Weyant of Team United States poses with the silver medal for the Women's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. |

As long as women’s sports are dominated by transgender tyranny, second place is now the new first. 

That’s the takeaway from last week’s national collegiate swimming championships when Lia Thomas, who is a man pretending to be a woman, finished “first” in the Division I women’s swimming 500-yard freestyle final. In doing so, he cheated “second place” finisher Emma Weyant of her rightful place at the top of the podium.

Of course, the mainstream media is touting the outcome as if it is some historic first worthy to be celebrated, or at least, to pass by unquestioned. Far from being praiseworthy, what the nation witnessed on Thursday night — one man competing against seven women, cheating both an eighth women out of a spot entirely and the seven others out of a fair shot at winning a championship —  was an open display of biological insanity and misogyny.

But again, that’s now how our liberal media, the party who perhaps shares the greatest blame for normalizing this nonsense, presented the event. ABC News reported that “Lia Thomas is a national champion. Thomas, who is a transgender woman, touched the wall in 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday night to become the first known transgender athlete to win a Division I national championship in any sport.”

Notice their language: “national champion,” “transgender woman,” “first … to win.”

Each one of those is a lie. Lia Thomas is a man. He didn’t really “win.” And, frankly, he’s not a national champion — not in a world where reality still means anything at all. 

And that brings us to five lessons that Christians should take away from this fiasco:

First, as hard as it may be, we must strive to seek and speak the truth about what’s happening. Even as we oppose Lia Thomas competing in women’s swimming, as we think and talk about the issue, let’s make sure we speak the truth and use the right words. Lia isn’t a “transgender woman” — he is a man. Lia isn’t a “she” — he’s a “he.” Proverbs 23:23 instructs us to “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” One of the ways we can purchase truth in our conversations is by using words that accurately reflect the reality of the situation at hand, which means, among other things, that we should congratulate Emma Weyant on her first-place finish. We must all be willing to be like the little child in The Emperor’s New Clothes who is the only one brave enough to say, “But he hasn’t got anything on!”

Second, we must draw attention to the fact that actual, biological women are being harmed by the madness of these policies and speak up in their defense. As the New York Post reported back in January, many of Thomas’s teammates feel deeply uncomfortable by his presence in the locker room. And why wouldn’t they? Men don’t belong in women’s locker rooms. This is a matter of privacy, safety, and personal bodily integrity.

Not only are the women swimmers for the University of Pennsylvania being harmed, but so are the women who have to compete against Thomas and lose a spot in the pool that belongs to a woman in the first place. In an interview, a Virginia Tech swimmer spoke about how one of her teammates lost the last spot to Thomas, finishing 17th when the top 16 go on to the finals. She also mentioned that when you see someone who “went through puberty as a male, and has a body of a male, be able to absolutely blow away the competition” it means that “you go into it with the mindset that you don’t even have a chance.” Absolutely heartbreaking. 

Furthermore, allowing Thomas to swim against women may cause serious repercussions for the future of the sport. As one observer remarked: “One of the issues with the Lia Thomas/NCAA swimming discussion is that 50 years of progress for female athletes under Title IX is being threatened. It’s not just women losing out in competition, but also potentially losing out on scholarships and educational opportunities.”

In fact, Concerned Women for America, led by Penny Nance, announced on Thursday that they have “filed a formal Civil Rights Complaint under Title IX with the U.S. Department of Education against the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) for refusing to protect the rights of college female athletes under federal law.”

So, from the teammates, to the competition, to future athletes, letting a man who thinks he’s a woman compete in women’s sports only harms real women. This isn’t progress or social justice — this is an active injustice.

Third, remember that we got in this mess because of SOGI policies — and we get out of it by stopping and overturning them. SOGI stands for “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” In short, SOGI laws and policies enforce a radical LGBT-approved sexual orthodoxy on everyone, regardless of those who dissent. Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has explained that:

“SOGI laws ban disagreement on LGBT issues by enforcing a sexual orthodoxy. Of course, those are not the exact words used, but when 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' are elevated to protected classes in antidiscrimination law, that is the effect the government policy has.”

It’s on the basis of SOGI policies that the NCAA instituted its radical transgender policies all the way back in 2011, which they updated in 2022, that allows Thomas to compete. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Education under President Biden announced in the summer of 2021 that they would (wrongly) interpret Title IX’s “discrimination on the basis of sex to include: 1. discrimination based on sexual orientation; and 2. discrimination based on gender identity.”

Fourth, we should look at Thomas and have compassion mixed with our righteous anger. The reality is, we can’t force him to stop competing against women. And when we see such an injustice, such a bold lie, we should feel righteous anger. But we should also make sure our anger is mingled with compassion. We must recognize that Thomas is a young man who needs serious help, and we can pray for him. On Thursday night, Allie Beth Stuckey shared a stark photo of Thomas standing alone. When I saw it, I felt that compassion. I tweeted: “This picture breaks my heart. I honestly want to go up to him, put my arm around him, and say, ‘Brother, stop, let’s talk.’”

I said that how we got here was because of SOGI policies, and that is partially, temporally, correct. How we really got here is because of Genesis 3 and the fall of man. When Adam and Eve rebelled, they brought sin, sickness, death, and judgment on and into the world. Thomas is an adult, a rational actor, and is responsible for his choices, which are causing harm. But he also, clearly, isn’t in his right mind. He is blinded by the deceitfulness of sin — as we all are in our fallen state, before any of us repent and believe and are born again in Jesus Christ (John 3:1-21).

In the same way that God has mercy on any of us in our sins, so we should seek to extend mercy, and hope, to Thomas. Demand justice — but also speak to God on behalf of Thomas, pleading for forgiveness, grace, and salvation.

Fifth and finally, we should note how this episode exposes the hypocrisy of the modern feminist and LGBT+ movements. The modern feminist movement demands radical equality with men, as in there are and should be no distinctions between the genders. Well, congratulations. Far from lifting up women, the fruit of modern feminism is now, in fact, a man denying the top spot on a podium to… a woman.

And as for the LGBT+ movement, this highlights the tension between the “LGB” and the “T.” Further, Thomas swimming — and “winning” — in a women’s swimming competition highlights the insanity of social justice taken to its logical conclusions and the dangers of postmodernism’s acidic erosion of objective truth unleashed on society.


As we consider the dark moment that was Thursday night, we should look for the silver linings in the clouds of transgender tyranny that loom large over our nation. For one, it was clear that the spectators there knew better. The crowd was noticeably silent when Thomas was announced as the first-place finisher, but erupted in applause for Emma. Yet even many rightly-aimed cheers won’t ultimately serve as the stone needed to bring down this giant. 

We can also hope and pray that this is a wake-up call for all parties involved. Perhaps the next time Thomas gets into the pool to try and race against girls, the girls will promptly get out. In fact, that’s what they should do. It may cost them in the present, but it will secure future blessings for their posterity. 

Until then, as those who love truth, seek truth, and serve the God of truth, let’s keep our minds clear, our speech honest, our prayers fervent, and our hopes fixed on Christ. He is the one who will reverse the curse as far as it is found — and that includes collegiate swimming pools. 

Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center.  

William Wolfe served as a senior official in the Trump administration, both as a deputy assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon and a director of legislative affairs at the State Department. Prior to his service in the administration, Wolfe worked for Heritage Action for America, and as a congressional staffer for three different members of Congress, including the former Rep. Dave Brat. He has a B.A. in history from Covenant College, and is finishing his Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Follow William on Twitter at @William_E_Wolfe

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