‘Any Man Could’ve Walked Into Our Locker Room,’ Riley Gaines Recounts to Senator Hawley

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Today in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Riley Gaines, decorated collegiate swimmer and female sports advocate. Gaines described to Senator Hawley her experiences competing against a transgender athlete, and the trauma she and her teammates endured when their privacy was invaded by being forced to undress in front of a biological male.

“You were talking about just the incredible surprise, shall I say to put it gently, of finding a biological man, a 6-foot-4 biological man, in your locker room and having to accept that without being asked about it, without being told about it even. What was that like for you—tell us about that,” said Senator Hawley.

“I—again we only became aware we would be undressing next to a man was when we had to see a man undressing while we were simultaneously undressing,” Gaines responded. 

According to Gaines, an NCAA official told her Lia Thomas was allowed in the female locker room due to a rule change that made the facilities ‘unisex.’

“And so I’m thinking to myself in these brief moments, first and foremost, you just admitted this is a male by acknowledging how you had to change your rules to make the locker rooms unisex. You acknowledged that we do not share the same sex, first and foremost,” Gaines continued. “Secondly, unisex—any man could’ve walked into our locker room, any coach, any official, any man who wanted to would have had full reigns to and bare minimum we weren’t forewarned about it—and that’s the traumatizing part. Of course the experience in and of the locker room itself is traumatizing, but I think for me, it was so easy for them to dismiss our rights to privacy.”

Watch their full exchange by clicking here or below: