Rep. Greg Steube, a Florida Republican, met with NC State swimming star Kylee Alons on Wednesday, writing on social media that she told him a story from the 2022 NCAA championships.
Steube said Alons told her she decided to change in a storage locker instead of outdoors because Lia Thomas was allowed to change in the women’s locker room.
«Meeting with Kylee today, the most decorated swimmer in NC State history,» Steube tweeted. «She told me how she changed in a storage locker at the NCAA Finals instead of experiencing the sexual harassment that comes with undressing in front of Will ‘Lia’ Thomas, a biological male who insisted on being in the women’s locker room.»
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Alons was in his senior year with the Wolfpack when he participated in the NCAA championships. Thomas became the first transgender woman to win a national title that season.
Alons, who wrapped up her college career this year after opting for her fifth season, was a two-time national champion, winning the 400 medley relay and the 200 medley relay in 2021. She was also a 31-time All-American and a five-time all-around champion. ACC during his college career.
Steube’s tweet about Alons’ story came on the heels of Riley Gaines’ emotional testimony at the Senate hearing on «Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans.»
Gaines was emotional when talking about having to share a dressing room with Thomas.
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«But that’s not all. In addition to being forced to give up our awards and our titles and our opportunities, the NCAA forced me and my swimmers to share a locker room with Thomas,» Gaines said. «A 6-foot-4, 22-year-old male outfitted with exposed male genitalia. Let me be clear on this: We were not warned that we would be sharing a locker room. No one asked for our consent and we did not.» give our consent.»
Gaines, who is an adviser to Independent Women’s Voice, said she hoped lawmakers in the hearing could see that it was a violation of their privacy and «how some of us feel uncomfortable, ashamed and even traumatized by this experience.»
«I know I don’t speak for all the people who competed against Lia Thomas, but I know I speak for a lot because I saw the tears,» she said. «I saw the tears of the ninth and 17th place finishers who missed out on being named All-American by one spot. I can attest to the extreme discomfort in the locker room for these 18-22 year olds when you turn around and there are eyes looking in that same room.
«And I can attest to the whispers and the complaints of anger and frustration from these girls who, like me, worked their entire lives to get to this competition. I can attest to the fact that across the country these athletes who stood up to Lia Thomas’ inclusion in the women’s division was threatened, intimidated and emotionally blackmailed into silence and submission.»
Gaines then responded to Steube’s tweet early Thursday.
«She and her teammates changed in a CONCIERGE CLOSET because it felt safer than changing in a locker room where an intact man would be simultaneously undressing,» Gaines wrote.
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«I’ve admired Kylee for a long time because of how fast she is, but even more so now that she’s talking about #SaveWomensSports.»