Riley Gaines Swimming Against Injustice

Riley Gaines, the Ambassador for the Independent Women’s Forum and 12x NCAA All-American Swimmer spoke Friday at a Women For Tulsa event at the River Spirit Resort. It was an inspiration for many.

Forced to swim against a male swimmer in the 2022 NCAA Championships, Gaines tied the larger male at the contest, but the male, identifying as Lia Thomas, took home the trophy even though Gaines was ranked higher nationally. Thomas, the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship is now suing World Aquatics in the international Court of Arbitration for Sport for its refusal to let Thomas compete in the women’s category.

Gaines, with the full support of her school, turned injustice to advocacy and set an example of what personal courage means. The twenty-three-year-old athlete fights publicly for Title 9, the landmark federal civil rights law enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 to prohibit sex-based discrimination in any school.

Gaines also worked with the advocacy organization Independent Women’s Voice to encourage Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to issue an executive order regarding the Women’s Bill of Rights. Stitt’s stated intention was to fortify into law sex-based words like ‘female,’ ‘woman,’ and ‘mother’ and protecting women-only spaces.

Gaines said, “Oklahoma, I am such a fan of you guys. I am such a fan of Oklahoma Softball.” She mentioned people in the audience she knew and appreciated, then detailed the difference with her welcome that night and her reception when testifying to the U.S. Congress.

Women For Tulsa event with Riley Gaines

“It is unfathomable to me as a 23-year-old recent college graduate, college swimmer at that, to go to [Washington] D.C. to sit in front of Congress and explain to them that men and women are different,” Gaines said.

“And on the other side of that table, were these Libs with super confused looks on their faces. I was there to testify in support of Title 9 keeping its original sense and urging the Biden Administration to halt their administrative rewrites. I am sitting on the other side of the table from Sen. Barbara Lee, Ranking Member from Pennsylvania, and she starts to read her opening monologue. The first words out of her mouth were, ‘I can’t believe I am going to be forced to sit here and listen to this transphobia bigotry.’

“When she said that, I didn’t feel mad. I didn’t feel frustrated. I felt heartbroken. This is a sitting member of Congress and she resorts to name calling. Not even trying to prove her point or dissuade me from my stance or facts or logic or common sense or reasoning or science. Instead, she resorts to name calling a 23-year-old.

Riley Gaines speaking in Tulsa

“I get through my testimony. At the end I say, ‘Ranking Member Lee, if my testimony makes me transphobic, then by your own logic, your monologue makes you a misogynist.’”

As a point of simple obvious fact, there are only two genders, male and female. Specifically in the Lia Thomas scam, Sarah Parshall Perry, Senior Legal Fellow, Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation wrote, “Lia Thomas has a distinct athletic benefit over even the most highly trained female aquatic competitors in the world. In the battle for women’s athletic equality, male bodies will always be the problem.”

Gaines continued to detail her experiences including when she was held hostage at San Fransisco State University with police officers tasked to protect her who had been ordered by officials not to do anything to upset the “transsexual” mob that assaulted her and police. She did note that “getting punched in the face by men wearing dresses doesn’t hurt that bad.” That incident ended hours later after university officials placated the criminals.

The next day, Gaines said the Vice President of Student Affairs sent out a blast email to the student body saying, “We are so proud of our brave students for handling Riley Gaines in the manor that they did. We know how deeply traumatic her presence is so here are some counseling resources and take the day off from school, just know that we love you, we hear you, we see you and we stand with you.”

As far from a threat as a person could get, Gaines, in Tulsa, was gracious, humble, and inspirational. She encouraged young people to follow their dreams, stand strong, work hard, and be open to what opportunity God may provide. Her plans were changed, but that happens. Her audience was cheered as Gaines’ story demonstrated unhesitant courage, abiding faith, and uplifting kindness and humor.

Readers are encouraged to purchase and share her book, “Swimming Against the Current, Fighting for common sense in a world that’s lost its mind,” available on Amazon.

After her main presentation, Gaines called youth in attendance to join her at the front of the stage so she could meet them and answer questions one-on-one. Before that began, this writer spoke briefly with Gaines to thank her for her ongoing efforts and to apologize.

When Gay Marriage was being debated, I did not oppose it. Like many conservatives, I thought that what people did in their own lives privately was not a public issue. While personally opposed, I did not protest and didn’t see it as a public threat.

However, those of alternative sexuality and/or abject immorality have, by 2024, proven they don’t just want private allowance. They demand public elevation, if not worship, and legal superiority. By forcing accommodation on small businesses, churches and educational institutions they abuse civil society, scientific result, and objective reality. They destroy the freedom of others and civil cohesion.

Further, any effort by anyone to sexualize children destroys innocence and harms the child. For that reason, sanity requires resistance.

Riley Gaines when faced with mindlessness, spoke her mind. By any standard she is a hero and her continuing effort a welcome positive example for all.

Women For Tulsa is a nonpartisan group with a mission, “to make Tulsa a better place to live, work, and raise a family: by being actively involved in Tulsa City Council, Tulsa Public School Board, General Elections, Mayor’s office, policies, and other initiatives that serve to advance Tulsa. Women for Tulsa will advocate for candidates and policies that serve Tulsa families, promote safety, demand excellence in Tulsa Public Schools, support a pro-business climate, and pursue Constitutional liberty.”

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