A trans-identifying male swimmer set a women’s record during a Saturday swim meet in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
The swimmer, Ramapo College Junior Meghan Cortez-Fields, came in first place in the women’s 100-yard butterfly with a program record of 57.22 seconds. Second-place finisher Jennifer Scott of Misericordia University swam a time of 59.81 seconds.
Cortez-Fields also came in first in the women’s 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.05, barely beating second-place finisher Grace Schad of Messiah University who swam a time of 2:12.97.
The transgender swimmer also placed second in the women’s 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:17.85.
In a post that has since been deleted, the college swim team's Instagram account celebrated Cortez-Fields’ win, writing, "records are off the charts right now!"
Cortez-Fields has a number of tattoos, one of which was highlighted by former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines. This tattoo, placed on the forearm, is the figure seen in the center of Botticelli’s famed The Birth of Venus painting, but instead of the biological woman seen standing gracefully in the center of the clamshell, the tattoos are of a being that has both female breasts and a male penis.
Another tattoo is that of the chemical structure of estradiol, a hormone most used for treating symptoms of menopause, but is also a sex-change hormone used by males who identify as female. Cortez also appears to have a number of periodic table of element tattoos.
This is the first year Cortez is swimming on the women’s team. In 2022, The Ramapo News highlighted how Cortez, who identified as a woman at that point, applied athletic tape over his nipples because NCAA rules prohibit male swimmers from wearing swimsuits that extend above the waist or below the knees.
"I choose to tape my breasts because I feel it is very uncomfortable and kind of dehumanizing to swim without a top," Cortez said.
Cortez was allowed to use the general women’s locker room, but not the women’s team locker room.
"It’s telling me that you can either change in a space you feel uncomfortable with, but with your team, or change in a space you feel comfortable with, but without your team. Some of my teammates on the women’s team change with me because they feel like, ‘Oh, it’s stupid. I’ll just change out here with you. Why would I be in there when you’re out here all alone?’"
Cortez told the school’s paper that Lia Thomas, the infamous trans-identifying male University of Pennsylvania swimmer who sparked outrage after winning numerous women’s events, including some at the NCAA championships, was an inspiration.
"[Thomas] is an inspiration to me in that way, but also I felt so bad for her because I know exactly what she was going through," Cortez said. "Even going into this season, I had a fear of succeeding, because I don’t want what happened to her to happen to me."
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