Members of a women’s high school volleyball team in Vermont have been banned from utilizing their own locker room following a dispute over a transgender athlete using the facility.
Blake Allen, one of the players who was banned from the locker room, told WCAX that she, along with other players, objected to allowing a biological male transgender athlete to use the women’s locker room. Reportedly, Vermont education policies allow students to play sports and use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond with their “gender identity.”
Allen told WCAX that the issue originated when the transgender student-athlete made an inappropriate remark while female members of the volleyball team were changing. The comment triggered an incident between the students. Allen did not share what exactly was said between the students.
She added that team members and their families raised concerns about the situation to the school. The school reportedly told parents that under state law, the transgender athlete can use the women’s facilities.
In an email to parents, school officials reportedly said that the girls who felt uncomfortable changing in the locker room with the transgender athlete can use a single-stall bathroom to change in privacy.
“They want all the girls who feel uncomfortable -- so pretty much 10 girls -- to get changed in a single stall bathroom, which would take over 30 minutes. Where if one person got changed separately, it would take a minute, like no extra time,” Allen said.
In addition, school officials reportedly wrote in the email that they are launching an investigation into the girls who “harassed” the transgender athlete. It was not reported if the school was launching an investigation over the transgender student’s inappropriate comment as women were changing in the locker room.
“I feel like for stating my opinion – that I don’t want a biological man changing with me – that I should not have harassment charges or bullying charges. They should all be dropped,” Allen told the outlet.
William “Lia” Thomas, a biological male transgender athlete, brought the issue of biological male athletes in women’s sports and locker rooms to the forefront. Townhall covered how Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania after competing on the men’s team for three consecutive seasons. Thomas made headlines for breaking records competing against women and taking home an NCAA Division I title at the NCAA championships in March.
During the swim season, several of Thomas’ spoke to media outlets under the condition of anonymity about the unfairness of competing against a male and how Thomas makes the locker room uncomfortable. which Matt covered.
“It’s [the locker room] definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” one female swimmer told Daily Mail. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”
The father of one of Thomas’ female teammates said in an interview that there’s been a “breach of trust” and “failure” on the part of UPenn to protect their female athletes.
“In the fall of 2019, when Lia first came out, the girls were told she would have her own separate space somewhere,” the father said in the interview with The Washington Examiner “For some reason, that obviously changed. I’m not sure why it changed. Was it money? Was it legal threats?”
In August, a biological male transgender cheerleader was kicked out of a cheerleading camp and given a criminal citation for allegedly choking a female teammate during a dispute. Police and parents came onto the scene. The trans cheerleader, Averie Chanel Medlock, claimed that the choking incident was “taken out of proportion” and “was a joke.”
“Well guys I’m officially retired as a cheerleader as of last night at 5:30 AM. A girl on the team was being very disrespectful and told me I am a MAN with a PENIS and that [guys] should not be on the team,” Medlock wrote in a Facebook post. “I stood up for myself and she called her mom and dad because she was scared because I [stood] up for myself. Her father said ‘she still has testosterone and a penis and I will kill anyone who comes after my daughter.’“