An adult trans-identified biological male has been competing against young girls at Canadian swim meets, causing shock and fury.
The outrage surrounding the issue has since progressed after it was recently revealed that this 50-year-old biological male is also changing in the girl's locker room, according to the Toronto Sun.
The swimmer in question is Nicholas J. Cepeda who competes under the name “Melody Wiseheart.” He is a member of the Orangeville Otters Swim Club.
At a Swimming Canada-sanctioned swim meet for girls between the ages of 8 and 16, parents said that “Wiseheart” not only competed against young girls but changed in and out of his swimsuit in the women's locker room, the outlet reports.
This incident occurred on Dec. 1 at the Trojan Cup which was held at the East Bayfield Community Centre.
“The girls were terrified,” said the parent of a child who competed in the competition.
Parents told the outlet that they were forced to put up towels in the changing room to act as a shield for their daughters. That way the girls could change in peace without being seen by Wiseheart.
“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.”
Data shows that Nicholas Cepeda has been competing against girls under the name Melody Wiseheart since 2019. He made headlines in October when he competed against girls at the Richmond Hill Aquatic Centre's Fall Classic. Cepeda placed last during that competition.
“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.”
Swim Ontario defended the acceptance of Nicholas Cepeda in a statement to the outlet and said: “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 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.”
The Barrie Police were contacted after an individual reported observing a male enter the girls' changeroom; however, no further investigation appears to have been conducted.
“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 department said in a statement to the Toronto Sun. “Police were later advised that the matter had resolved itself and we did not attend.”
Another parent told the outlet, “This is crazy. None of this adds up. There has to be a lot of explaining.”