Dori: Washington state school sports now have a ‘Lia Thomas situation’

Sep 20, 2022, 5:25 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2022, 7:06 am
(Credit Braden Collum via Unsplash)...
(Credit Braden Collum via Unsplash)
(Credit Braden Collum via Unsplash)

With high school fall sports seasons in full swing across Washington state, it appears some local teen athletes are facing a so-called “Lia Thomas situation” here.

Lia Thomas is the highly publicized, biologically male University of Pennsylvania swimmer whose current transgender status now allows them to compete – and win – against biologically female swimmers.

According to several parents who recently attended a Puget Sound-area school cross country meet, a sophomore runner who competed as a male last season won the girls race last weekend.

I’m choosing not to name the student or the high school. I have nothing against the kid, and I don’t wish to bring grief on the high school. It’s not the school’s choice whether to allow this student to run as a girl.

My beef is with state and national lawmakers who are increasingly favoring biological boys over girls in female sports.

In this local case involving last weekend’s race, the sophomore runner finished the 5K event 3 seconds faster than the first biological girl to cross the finish line. Last season, according to what appears to be the student/athlete’s self-created college online recruiting profile, the runner identified as a male and listed a best time/personal record that would not have even placed them in the top 500 male runners statewide.

Now, in this girl’s race, the biologically male runner is taking home the first-place medal. That means that a biological girl who has worked hard for her performance in that race did not medal at all.

This has been coming for a while. Six years ago, five transgender people won world championships in women’s events. Within the past 3.5 years, 30 transgender athletes have done so. It was only a matter of time for it to reach high school athletics.

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We reached out to the runner’s high school. They say they are simply following the rules set forth by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) – the governing body for high school athletics and activities in this state. Boys can complete as girls if boys say they are girls. It’s that simple.

What’s more, President Joe Biden has proposed several changes to Title IX – the now 50-year-old life-changing federal civil rights act that assured greater fairness and parity for women in sports and education. Title IX created a gigantic participation expansion among girls in sports. As a result, girls who participate in sports and other activities – music and drama included – experience higher high school graduation rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, and eventual higher college acceptance rates and higher average income.

If you stop taking away the aspirations and even scholarships that go with being a top female athletic performer, it will take away all the wonder that goes with competing in sports that so many girls have enjoyed.

I disagree with this policy, but I have no animosity toward the runner or their high school. But I do believe this policy is disastrous and will bring about the ruin of girls’ and women’s sports in America that have so many wondrous benefits.

Listen to Dori’s take on the effects of biological boys and men competing in girls and women’s sporting events

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Dori: Washington state school sports now have a ‘Lia Thomas situation’