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'It's definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts': UPenn swimmer says team members uncomfortable having Lia Thomas in the locker room

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Hunter Martin/Getty Images

While the controversy surrounding transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has largely centered around the issue of fairness in women's sports, the very practical matter of locker room usage is also reportedly a problem.

The Daily Mail reported that some University of Pennsylvania swimmers are not comfortable having Thomas in the locker room.

"It's definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women," a member of the swim team told the outlet.

The individual informed the outlet that although Thomas utilizes a towel sometimes to conceal, there is a fair amount of nakedness. The swimmer and other individuals have seen Thomas's private parts, according to the outlet.

The swimmer said that team members have brought the matter up to the coach in an effort to get Thomas removed from the locker room.

"Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times," the swimmer noted. "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."

"It's really upsetting because Lia doesn't seem to care how it makes anyone else feel," the swimmer said. "The 35 of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one."

Thomas has racked up wins while swimming against women. In one race last month Thomas finished about 38 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

But while athletic fairness represents a key concern for critics who oppose allowing biological men to compete in sports designated for women, the issue of nudity in locker rooms also highlights another significant issue.

Correction: This story previously said that Thomas won a race by more than 38 seconds — the win was actually just under 38 seconds and the story has been corrected to note that Thomas won that race by about 38 seconds.

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