Riley Gaines Shreds Dems Over Bio Men in Women’s Sports, Debunks Serena William’s Myth
Former college championship swimmer Riley Gaines challenged Democrat Senator and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin on Wednesday after he condemned Republicans for “hateful rhetoric” surrounding transgenderism in sports.
Gaines was brought to Capitol Hill as a witness for the Senate’s hearing on the extent and limits of LGBTQ civil rights. Durbin made his viewpoint known immediately, claiming that “our children” are literally “in danger.”
“At this point, I’d like to remind our colleagues, our children are listening, and they are in danger. In fact, today, transgender youth are among the most at risk of homelessness, depression and death by suicide. So, when these young people who are already struggling hear politicians amplify hateful rhetoric that denies their very existence, what message does it send?”
Durbin’s use of the term “our children” mirrors a video by the Biden administration earlier this month, sparking a severe backlash, including from Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
You are the government.
They are NOT your kids.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 14, 2023
Similarly, Gaines pushed back against Durbin later in the hearing, pointing out that by focusing on growing LGBTQ Civil Rights, he is neglecting the rights of women and girls, who are at an athletic disadvantage, to trans individuals seeking to compete with them.
“Sen. Durbin, in your opening statement, you had mentioned this rhetoric.You had mentioned that, what message does it send to trans individuals? And my comeback to that is, what message does this send to women, to young girls, who are denied of these opportunities? So easily, their rights to privacy and safety thrown out of the window to protect a small population, protect one group as long as they’re happy,” she said. “What about us? That is the overall general consensus of how we all felt in that locker room.”
"Sen. Durbin … you had mentioned this 'rhetoric.' You had mentioned 'what message does it send to trans individuals?' My combat to that is: what message does this send to women, to young girls … their rights to privacy and safety thrown out of the window?" @Riley_Gaines_ pic.twitter.com/vBHgW7AJyy
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 21, 2023
Durbin responded by claiming there was “no evidence” that biological men who have transitioned have any advantage over women.
“Since reference was made to my earlier statement, I would just like to add something for the record: There is no evidence that transgender athletes are an issue in certain levels of sports. No transgender female athlete has ever won an Olympic medal in women’s sports, though the International Olympic Committee has allowed transgender athletes to compete since 2004,”
Durbin did not cite any evidence for this claim other than the rarity of transgender athletes winning in the Olympics, which is to be expected of a small population. Durbin also did not address biological realities, like the tendency for men to have bigger hearts and lungs, narrower hips, and naturally larger muscles than women.
One Democrat witness attempted to argue along these lines, and it did not go well.
Gaines also discussed the harrowing experience of being forced to share a locker room with a biological man.
Holding back tears, @Riley_Gaines_ recounts her and her teammates' experience of having to get changed in a locker room alongside biological male Lia Thomas:
"No one asked for our consent, and we did not give our consent." pic.twitter.com/z7nvAexGhq
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 21, 2023
Durbin did not respond to Gaines’s concerns about privacy and safety.
“I don’t believe trans athletes should be banned from sports …I just want everyone to compete where it’s fair and where it’s safe. I don’t understand why that’s overly controversial, Gaines said.
🇺🇸🏊♀️@Riley_Gaines_ speaks before a Senate hearing on women’s sports
“I don’t believe trans athletes should be banned from sports …I just want everyone to compete where it’s fair and where it’s safe. I don’t understand why that’s overly controversial.”
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 21, 2023
Republican Senator Josh Hawley gave Gaines a chance to respond to Lia Thomas, a biologically male swimmer identifying as a woman, and Gaines’ former teammate, who argued Gaines’ activism was just a cover for “transphobia.”
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 21, 2023
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