Thursday, August 10, 2023

Teen's claim of seeing a naked trans woman and getting kicked off of her swim team because of it was a complete lie

The media and others flock like vultures when there are stories of alleged misbehavior of trans women. Notice how quickly they disappear when the story turns out to be false. The following is proof. But thanks to the folks at Assigned Media (a WONDERFUL webpage doing great work to expose anti-trans propaganda) and LGBTQ Nation (doing its usual excellent news coverage), I caught this story.

From Assigned Media:

The story of a transphobic teen that Fox News claimed had been kicked off her swim team after seeing a trans woman changing has completely fallen apart. Abbigail Wheeler, a 16-year-old who was asked to leave the YMCA for the evening after she admitted to being behind signs with anti-trans messages that had been tacked up all over the locker room the night before. 

Wheeler’s misbehavior, and the mild consequences it engendered from the Y, were portrayed as victimization of the teen on Fox and elsewhere in the right-wing press. As the full details of the incident have become clear it seems that Wheeler and her family made misleading and false statements that helped to inflame public opinion resulting in an anti-trans protest at the Kerasotes branch where this occurred. 

 According to LGBTQ Nation, the protest was where Wheeler first admitted that parts of the story were false. Calling the widespread reports that she’d seen a trans woman naked a “miscommunication” Wheeler clarified that she did not see any trans women naked or observe their private parts.

With regards to this, the LGBTQ Nation article pointed out:

During her July 11 and 12 interviews on Fox News, Wheeler said she saw the trans woman naked. But at the rally, she called this a “miscommunication,” saying, “To be clear, I did not see the [person] naked, and no [human] genitalia was exposed.” 

 During her Fox News interviews, she also said she was kicked off of the swim team after posting signs at the YMCA that said “Women’s Rights,” “Biological Women Only,” and “SafeSport.” However, a May 29 email from Wheeler’s mother to her daughter’s coach clearly says, “We have decided to remove Abbigail from the SPY swim team.”

 In other words, her parents removed her from the team. In addition, according to LGBTQ Nation, the signs she put up misgendered the trans woman and falsely claimed that she was threat to other women:

The signs said, “Men are not welcome here,” “Women Need Rights, Men Already Have Them,” “In case anyone is unawar [sic], I feel as a concerned member to share this shocking news. Transgenders [sic] are now using the womens [sic] locker room. They have been for a while now. Please feel free to share/spead [sic] the world [sic],” “Girls Rule, Boys Drool,” and “Women Deserve to be Safe Here.”

Assigned Media also said that the incident may have actually involved two trans women and both have come forward to tell their side of the story:

Christina Newton and Candice Clotfelter have come forward to describe their interaction with the teen to the Illinois Times as well as local TV news. They describe an interaction starting with Wheeler staring at them when they were sitting together talking on a bench at the Kerasotes Y. When they asked if they could help her, the teen told them they were in the women’s locker room, to which they replied that they were women. Both women had their bathing suits on during this interaction (they further explained to the local reporters that they changed their clothes inside of bathroom stalls).

Lastly, Assigned Media pointed out this situation is the latest in a pattern of false stories circulating designed to scare people about trans women in locker rooms.

The false stories are part of a pattern of exaggerated stories about interactions between cisgender girls and trans women at YMCAs across the country. This story most closely resembles one from a California Y in January where an older teen was widely reported to have seen a penis when, in reality, the woman in question was post-surgery and had no such organ to see.

 In Ohio this past February, a trans woman was targeted for prosecution by local officials, charged with indecent exposure for changing in a YMCA women’s locker room. She was found not guilty due to not having broken any law, and again no evidence of any cisgender woman or girl seeing her private parts while she was changing was ever presented. 

The existence of three such similar YMCA scandals in a few months suggest there may have been some effort on the part of anti-trans activists to manufacture flashpoints of this type.