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WARMINGTON: Transgender female swimmer uses change room with girls

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Girls from age eight to 16 in a Swimming Canada-sanctioned swim meet in Barrie last week not only found themselves in the same pool as a transgender female swimmer but in the same changeroom, too. 

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Parents confirmed that the person in question changed in and out of a swimsuit in the women’s locker room at the East Bayfield Community Centre during the Dec. 1 Trojan Cup. 

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“The girls were terrified,” said one parent of a child involved. 

And mortified. 

From the changing area, where parents put up makeshift towel-tenting apparatus so no one could see their daughters and they could not see the person with male anatomy changing with them, they got into the pool to race against this 50-year-old who was competing in several categories. 

The whole thing is gross. 

“It’s all so confusing for the kids,” said one parent. “No one is comfortable. Everybody is accepting of all people but them swimming against our kids and being in the locker room with them is not appropriate.” 

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Around the pool, or at York University, Nicholas Cepeda now goes by Melody Wiseheart. Swimming meet stats show Wiseheart, who has not so far responded to requests for comment of clarification from the Toronto Sun, has been competing against girls since 2019. 

“We have no idea why it is allowed,” said a parent. “We know it’s not fair to the girls who are training at their sport and some of whom are hoping for scholarships.” 

Instead of focusing on those already difficult challenges, Melody has become the full focus at the pool. And it seems there is nothing anybody can do to end the madness that would see little girls being humiliated like this. As difficult as the Lia Thomas situation was in the United States where a transgender female was competing against cisgender females, this one is even stranger in that it’s an adult pulling this stunt against kids.

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In partnership with Swimming Canada, Swim Ontario has a robust system of policies, procedures and rules that support our member clubs in providing a competitive experience that is safe, welcoming and inclusive for all participants,” the organization said in a statement sent to the Toronto Sun. 

They said they “investigated a concern related to an adult competing against swimmers aged 12-14 during a recent competition hosted by the Richmond Hill Aquatic Club (RHAC)” and concluded “RHAC acted appropriately in hosting the competition according to Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario policies and procedures, including the Swimming Canada National Registration Procedures and Rules Manual and The Swimming Rules of Swimming Canada” that ensure “all athletes were registered correctly and eligible to participate accordingly” in an “open competition” with athletes seeded by entry time, regardless of age” with “instances of adults swimming in the same heat as minor swimmers, again within the swimming rules permitted in this competition.” 

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The statement adds, “Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario believe swimming is for everyone” and that “people of all shapes, sizes, genders, beliefs and backgrounds should have the opportunity to swim to the best of their ability” and “with the expectation that our registrants treat each other with respect and dignity, and keep our sport environment free from harassment and abuse” and “this would include not targeting members of our community based on assumptions about their identity.” 

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To translate. A mature transgender female, who lives day to day in the identity of a woman, is allowed to compete against little girls. The swimming oversight organizations say as for “change room access, this is determined by facility/municipality policies in accordance with applicable law.” 

Said one parent: “This is crazy. None of this adds up. There has to be a lot of explaining” to the young girls who are not ready for this and don’t understand it. The Barrie Police were called when someone saw the man go into the changeroom where girls were preparing for their races but there does not seem to have been any investigation.”

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Barrie Police have confirmed they are aware of initial concerns.

“Barrie Police received a call on Friday, December 1, 2023, at 6:06 pm for a report of an unwanted person at 80 Livingstone St. E.,” the service said in a statement to the Toronto Sun. “Police were later advised that the matter had resolved itself and we did not attend.” 

So as of now, it appears, a transgender female is within the law to both change and shower with little girls in the same changeroom and also compete against them in the pool. 

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