Caitlyn Jenner Lia Thomas Trans New York Pennsylvania Pride50 Caitlyn Jenner Lia Thomas Trans New York Pennsylvania

Lia Thomas made history simply by being who she is and doing what she loves

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Lia Thomas thought that her decision to come out as transgender and medically transition would end her college swimming career.

Instead, she made history this March, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to win a Division I national championship in any sport.

That also made the 23-year-old former University of Pennsylvania swimmer a national lightning rod, her triumph stoking the long-smoldering debate surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in sports.Sports Illustrated called her “a living, breathing, real-time Rorschach test for how society views those who challenge conventions.” The New York Times published a long feature essentially positioning Thomas at the center of the debate over whether trans women pose an existential threat to women’s sports.

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