MIDLAND, MI (CBS SF) — A national gym chain that prides itself on a “no-judgement” policy revoked a Michigan woman’s membership after she complained about a transgender woman in the gym locker room.
According to CNN, Yvette Cormier’s Planet Fitness membership was canceled not because she raised the issue, but because the club management felt the manner in which she expressed her concerns was “inappropriate.”
“This is all new to me. I didn’t go out to specifically bash a transgender person that day. I was taken aback by the situation,” Cormier told CNN. “This is about me and how I felt unsafe. I should feel safe in there.”
The mother of two reported to the front desk she saw someone who looked like a man enter the women’s locker room while she was changing.
The front desk cited policy that allows people to use changing rooms based on “their sincere, self-reported gender identity.” Planet Fitness’ corporate headquarters told her the same thing when she called to complain.
She then returned to the gym the following week to let other woman know that they let men in the women’s locker room. A couple days later, she found out her membership had been canceled.
A statement released by Planet Fitness spokesman McCall Gosselin states that members can use the locker room corresponding with their gender identity.
The full statement posted on MLive goes on to say:
“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled.”
Cormier blames the gym for not doing a better job of informing members about the policy and says it should provide a third locker room for transgender people.
LGBT and human rights advocates applauded Planet Fitness’ handling of the situation.
Senior legislative council for the Human Rights Campaign Alison Gill said the gym was also within its rights to create a policy that welcomes members to use the locker room corresponding with their gender identity.