Riley Gaines is one of the most decorated athletes in the University of Kentucky swimming program’s history, where she is a 12-time All-American Swimmer.

Last week, while speaking at a Turning Point USA event at San Francisco State University (SFSU), she was mobbed, verbally and physically attacked, and held captive in a room for three hours by angry transgender activists and their allies.

Gaines is a Stand with Women spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum. She was at SFSU to talk about how men, claiming to be women, are taking opportunities and victories from women, as well as threatening their privacy and safety.

She writes about the harrowing event, beginning with her talk with students:

Inside the room I was heckled, interrupted, and insulted. But while this was disappointing, the protesters were basically peaceful – that is, until the moment my speech ended.

After I finished fielding questions, a group from outside the room swarmed in, turned off the lights, and pushed toward me at the front of the room. I was backed up against the podium. I was cornered and increasingly nervous.

A man wearing women’s clothing intentionally hit me – twice. The first blow landed on my shoulder. The second one glanced off my shoulder and hit me in the face.

Campus police officers rushed her into an office, where she waited for three hours, with an angry group of activists gathered outside. She writes:

Outside the door a violent, racist mob chanted threats against me.

“Open the door, we want Riley,” they screamed.

“Why are you protecting a white woman?” the mob spit at security.

“This is vengeance.”

In 2022, Gaines watched swimmer Lia Thomas, born male but “identifying” as female, “win” the 500-yard freestyle NCAA women’s championship. Thomas went on to tie Gaines for fifth in the 200-yard freestyle.

The NCAA gave Thomas the fifth place trophy at the championships, while Gaines was told her trophy would come in the mail. She was told that “Thomas would hold the trophy for picture purposes.”

Gaines says that’s what spurred her to speak out against men who claim to be women, with unfair male size and strength advantages, intruding in women’s sports:

That’s when I realized that the NCAA no longer valued everything that I, my teammates and every other girl swimming that day had worked their entire lives to achieve. The goal was no longer excellence in women’s sport. The goal was virtue signaling on the backs of women.

Gaines is standing courageous in the face of the assault, unwilling to back down. She encouraged others to be bold in speaking out for women’s sports and safety and privacy for women, tweeting (caution, language in video):

The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man. This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces. Still only further assures me I’m doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder.

She writes that the San Francisco Police finally responded, and explains her determination not to bow to the mob:

By 2:00 am, I was back in my hotel. Shaken and exhausted, but not deterred. Because for all the rage and intimidation, that mob failed. They did not silence me, and they will not silence me. Their behavior did not diminish my arguments. On the contrary, it proved that they are misogynists fueled by hate.

I’m hoping that what happened to me in San Francisco will encourage more parents, athletes, coaches, and others to open their eyes and their mouths.

Because when the mob tries to silence you, the best response is to speak louder.

Transgender activists and their allies, like all of us, are made in God’s image, but they are caught in a web of deceit, desperately needing love, prayer and compassion from Christians.

Nevertheless, demonstrating love and compassion doesn’t mean that we deny reality and agree with deep mental and emotional confusion. Christianity offers hope for those caught in the transgender lie.

That’s why we must continue to speak and teach the truth about God’s design for humans as male and female – and about God’s healing power and love.


Related articles and resources:

Celebrate the Real NCAA Women’s 500-Freestyle Swimming Champions

Do ‘Gender Identity’ Laws Affect Me and My Family?

Female Athletes Ask NCAA for Fairness in Women’s Sports

Feminist Begs Christians to Stop Pretending ‘Gender Identity’ and ‘Transgender People’ are Actual Things

Focus on the Family Broadcast, Part 1 and Part 2, with Rod Dreher, author of Live Not by Lies

Focus on the Family: Transgender Resources


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