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Riley Gaines grad speech: ‘I decided I would unapologetically stand for truth’

‘I chose to be courageous’

Female sports activist Riley Gaines urged Adrian College graduates to be courageous during a speech over the weekend.

Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer, shared her story of taking on the transgender agenda after competing against William “Lia” Thomas.

Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer, is a male who began calling himself a female and competing against women’s athletes.

“I decided I would unapologetically stand for truth, both in a Biblical and objective sense,” Gaines said at the graduation ceremony, sharing that she was waiting for someone else to lead.

“I wanted to be liked. I thought twice before I spoke to an issue that was deemed controversial like I imagine many of you do or have done,” she said. “But I chose to be courageous.”

“Courage is a virtue that’s often misunderstood commonly being conflated with fearlessness but make no mistake these words are not synonymous and they’re not interchangeable,” Gaines told the Protestant college in Michigan.

The college’s selection of Gaines drew some protest from a campus LGBT group, which demanded the school cancel her.

The petition said the selection of Gaines was “inappropriate but also discredits the graduates who may be in alliance with or a part of the LGBTQIA+ community,” as previously reported by The College Fix.

And 1984 graduate “Leann” McKee, a male who says he is a female, said Gaines is hateful. “She has no message to deliver other than she hates trans people. That’s her message,” McKee told Michigan Advance.

Gaines addressed the petition seeking to “disinvite” her during the speech.

“What are you so afraid of? Having your perspectives challenged? Being encouraged to engage in independent thought,” she asked.

“The freedom of thought and expression should be cherished by all,” she said.

During her speech Gaines said, “courage is contagious.”

“It inspires and uplifts. May you embrace each new challenge as an opportunity, not shy away from risk and remain true to your conviction,” she said. “Forge your path with both humility and boldness.”

Gaines said her Christian faith has kept her going.

“My faith is central in all that I do,” Gaines said.

“Faith isn’t just a set of beliefs, but the transformative principle that influences our actions, shapes our worldview, and leads us in times of both uncertainty and triumph,” she said shortly after.

She told the graduates to remember the “lessons” of “faith” when facing challenges in the secular world.

“In those moments, remember that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” she said, quoting the Bible.

She shared her own apprehension about taking on the fight against transgenderism and how her faith helped.

“So as you step into a world that often seems guided solely by the pursuit of personal gain, or immediate satisfaction, the principles of Christian faith offer a different path, one illuminated by the light of service, humility, and compassion.”

“Be bold in your aspirations, steadfast in your commitments, and generous in your love.”

MORE: Columbia University fencer defeats Lia Thomas for ‘Woman of the Year’ nod

IMAGE: Adrian College/YouTube

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