Advertisement

Adrian College in Michigan Slammed After Inviting Transphobic Swimmer Riley Gaines to Speak During College Commencement

Twitter reaction is not mixed

Sarah Bricker Hunt

Adrian College graduates will have a front row seat to the inspiring remarks — we’re kidding, obviously — of an anti-trans crusader on May 5 when swimmer-“activist” Riley Gaines delivers the commencement address. 

Gaines famously tied University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who is a transgender woman, in the 200-meter freestyle competition at the 2022 NCAA National Championships. Since then, Gaines has become internet famous by railing against Thomas’s participation in the sport with swimmers assigned female at birth.

The swimmer lobbies for laws prohibiting trans women from competing in women’s sports (including chess, apparently), but she also lobbies for laws prohibiting trans women from peeing in public restrooms. Last August, Gaines, alongside other members of anti-trans group Independent Women’s Voice, stood with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt as he signed an executive order establishing an anti-trans bathroom law and ordering state agencies to use only sex assigned at birth to define male and female.



“This is an important issue that should be discussed at colleges and universities throughout the United States,” Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking said in a statement. “Adrian College has never shied away from presenting and debating substantive disagreements on campus. In fact, this is precisely the purpose of universities — to engage in civil discourse of controversial issues. We welcome Riley Gaines to our beautiful campus, and we feel confident our students will be inspired by her commencement address.”

On the Southeast Michigan college’s X post announcing Gaines’ participation in the commencement, the overwhelming reaction is… less than positive, to put it diplomatically. “Glad my HS senior threw all the mailers from you straight in the trash and chose somewhere better,” X user @juliablough tweeted. 

“You’re off our list of colleges to look at. Shameful,” tweeted @IndivisibleMich.

“As an alumni,” tweeted X user @marblelakemama, “why would you have such a polarizing individual giving the Commencement speech? Riley’s views & social media promote hate . Apparently AC has abandoned the following, ‘in United Methodist tradition, is committed to the pursuit of truth and dignity of all people.’”


@ACMESalesRep has a question for Adrian College: “Why? She’s only famous because Lia Thomas tied her for [second]. If you wanted to invite someone based on their own accomplishments you should’ve invited Thomas.”

Adrian College seems poised to forge ahead regardless. Vice President Andrea Milner said in a statement, “We look forward to providing Riley a welcoming atmosphere. I’m excited to offer our graduates the opportunity to broaden their understanding of world issues and inspire them as they embark on their future endeavors.”



Advertisement
Advertisement

From the Pride Source Marketplace

Go to the Marketplace
Directory default
Our mission is to provide the population access to one of the most seasoned & well-trained…
Learn More
Directory default
Stand with Trans hopes to bridge the gap from coming out to coming into their own by providing the…
Learn More
Directory default
Like us on Facebook @ gpcong.orgRISE: Reach Out, Inspire Others, Serve, and Embrace DiversityJoin…
Learn More
Advertisement