Riley Gaines thinks Lia Thomas is ‘selfish’ for wanting to compete in women’s swimming but I think Gaines is the selfish one, trying to make a name for herself out of the water because she’s not good enough in it.

I don’t know much about swimming, but I do know most other sports. I know that the more time you spend practicing, the better you get, assuming you’re practicing the right things.

The fact that Gaines’ Wikipedia page says more about her ‘political activism’ than it does her swimming is telling.

When Gaines went up against Lia Thomas in the 2022 200-yard NCAA freestyle championship, Gaines finished joint fifth, along with Thomas.

Finishing joint fifth in a race isn’t a disgrace. It’s much better than I could do.

Still, it seems more than a little off when an anti-trans campaigner is blaming ‘selfish’ trans women for wanting to compete in a sport you’re a bit rubbish at compared to your competitors.

After all, had Thomas not been in the race, Gaines would have still finished fifth.

If you want a better idea of who Gaines is, you just have to look at the places she likes to give speeches – a Trump Rally and a Turning Point event to name just two. She also appeared in a campaign ad for Herschel Walker, the former US Senate candidate who refused to acknowledge two of his children for many years, and was accused of domestic violence.

But, remember, Gaines is just concerned about women.

So, given her right wing connections, it’s no surprise to see her plastered all over the media this week.

Gaines said, “Lia Thomas [was] quoted saying, you know, “It breaks my heart to see trans kids lose out on opportunities.” Replace that with word woman — does it still break Thomas’s heart to see women lose out on opportunities?

“Because that’s exactly what’s happening. From my experience competing against Lia Thomas at the national championships, I watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities. I watched women not become All-Americans, missing that eighth and 16th place by one place because they were displaced by a male.

“This, of course, goes against everything that Title IX was created to protect and now we have the Biden administration, the people in the White House, who are actively working to rewrite Title IX.”

Of course, nobody is trying to ban all cis women from competing, so comparing the handful of trans women who would like to take part to the blanket ban on trans people in sport is more than a little disingenuous.

But, of course, that’s what these people do best.

Note how Gaines accuses Thomas of causing ‘women’ (plural) to miss out on opportunities even though Thomas is just one person.

One. Out of thousands of women trying to make it as a professional swimmer.


And the vast majority of other competitors have no issue at all with Thomas, but they don’t get to say that in the papers.

But sure, it’s Lia Thomas who is being the ‘selfish’ one, here.


Some of the controversies involving Turning Point USA and transgender issues include:

  • Opposition to transgender participation in sports: Some TPUSA members and affiliates have argued against transgender women participating in women’s sports, claiming that it may create an unfair advantage due to perceived physiological differences between cisgender and transgender women. This position has been a point of contention between conservative and progressive activists.
  • Comments made by speakers at TPUSA events: Some speakers invited to TPUSA events have made controversial remarks on transgender issues, which have been criticized by LGBTQ+ advocates and progressive activists. For example, Ben Shapiro, a conservative political commentator who has spoken at TPUSA events, has made numerous statements that challenge the validity of transgender identities, all of which were offensive and/or transphobic.
  • Campus activism: TPUSA chapters on college campuses have sometimes been involved in incidents related to transgender issues. In some cases, TPUSA members have been accused of promoting or condoning transphobic views, leading to tension and conflict with other student groups.