Michigan gym revokes woman’s membership after transgender complaint

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MIDLAND, Mich. (CNN) — A woman lost her gym membership over the “inappropriate” manner in which she complained about a transgender woman in the locker room, a Planet Fitness spokeswoman said.

Yvette Cormier’s Planet Fitness membership was not canceled for simply raising the issue, “as we welcome all feedback from our members,” said McCall Gosselin, director of public relations at Planet Fitness Corporate.

Rather, it was the manner in which she expressed her concerns that club management felt was inappropriate, resulting in the cancellation. Gosselin declined to elaborate on the behavior.

Cormier told CNN affiliate WNEM that she was caught off guard when a “man” walked into the women’s locker room in the gym’s Midland branch on February 28.

“He totally looked like a man. He was not dressed like a woman at all.”

Cormier said she complained to the front desk and corporate headquarters.

“They told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that’s the sex he wants to be,” Cormier said.

Planet Fitness’ Gosselin said in a statement: “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 canceled.”

“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,” Gosselin said

Cormier said Planet Fitness needs to do a better job of informing members of its policy allowing members to use whichever locker room corresponds with their gender identity, which refers to a person’s psychological identification as a man, woman or another gender.

LGBT advocates applauded the Planet Fitness policy, saying it was necessary to ensuring the safety and privacy of transgender individuals.

Planet Fitness has the right to allow members to use whichever lock room corresponds with their gender identity, Alison Gill, senior legislative council for the Human Rights Campaign, told MLive

Even though gender identity is not a protected class under Michigan anti-discrimination laws, transgender individuals still have the right to use whichever bathroom they feel comfortable using, attorney Jay Kaplan with the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project told MLive.

“A transgender woman would be much more at risk for her safety if she had to use the men’s bathroom,” he said.

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15 comments

  • Warren

    “Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members.”

    So, having a man walk in the women’s locker room isn’t considered intimidating by their standards. This one may backfire on them.

  • Gigi

    Yes, exactly Warren!! I’m totally baffled by the way Planet Fitness has handled this situation…basically saying it’s ok for men and women to share lockeroom/restroom space, THAT is NOT appropriate.

  • Mrs. A.

    The ‘man’ identifies as a woman so there is no one saying it is ok for a man to walk into a women’s locker room. The policy is that members can use the locker room they identify as- not whichever one they choose, there a difference. Neither of you- Warren or gigi- know what Cormier’s behavior was that resulted the revocation of her membership because Planet Fitness has opted to protect her- and kudos to them for doing so because my gut tells me she behaved in an embarrassing way for all.

    • Martin

      I wonder how many women will be comfortable sharing the locker room with a man who identifies himself with being a woman. I think Planet Fitness is lacking good judgement and common sense with this policy.

  • Katrina

    Where do we draw the line? If “she” changes identifying wkith females next week, it’s back to the men’s room? At some point people need to also respect the rights of the straight gender as well. She was uncomfortable with the situation, where does that come into play?

  • Deb

    Obviously many of you are unaware of what a transgender woman is….she is a woman born with the wrong genitalia. It is a fluke of nature, just like a person born with a cleft palette. It is not a thing that you decide one day to the next, “what do I want to be today?” She is a woman and has always been a woman.

  • CommonSense

    Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. What a bunch of rubbish. As a girl, no way would I put up with this. I know plenty of my guy friends that would totally buy into this theory just to get into the girls locker room as a joke. I guess you get what you pay for, and Planet Fitness is one of those places. If these “transgends” are so interested in using a ladies locker room, let them use the employee restrooms to change. How pathetic can society be the world has become way too “politically correct.” Pull your gym memberships and go somewhere that cares!

    • tom

      It sounds to me like you keep crass, unintelligent people who are probably sex offenders and would rape a woman if given the chance.

      Which doesn’t surprise me, considering you don’t understand the science and nature behind genetic mutations.

  • aarondk76

    Yeah, I cannot see this being exploited by some perv at all. *rolls eyes* I am sorry, if you are a man, you use the MENS room. Who we “identify” as has nothing to do with it… I identify as a table but I don’t want you to put your dinner on me.

  • Whatever

    When I’m at the gym today I think I’m going to go check out the hotties in the men’s locker room since planet fitness says its ok for me to use either locker room.. If I’m questioned.. I’ll just say.. Well I feel like I should be a man!!! STUPIDEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD!!!!! I think ‘Im going to have to stop my membership there!!!!

  • CommonSense

    Boycott Planet Fitness. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

    More ignorant libtard politically correct nonsense.

  • Greg

    You know this is completely ridiculous!! I had a daughter who played sports and the coach had an assistant who claimed he was gay. Well we knew he wasn’t so what is to say that someone walks into Planet Fitness and claims to be a transgender and gets in the women’s locker room just to get his free peep show. This is unacceptable!! They need to get a separate room where they can change and so no one feels unsafe and out of place. So until he has the surgery to have his unit removed he is male and needs to dress there or Planet Fitness gets a small room to accommodate everyone.

    • Jay

      Oh for crying out loud! It’s not a peep show if people would actually change in the private stall in the locker room! It’s not like the Trans was even staring her down for all we know! She made the big fuss about it, not the trans! I say kudos to PF for finally showing EQUALITY something many places lack, even being 2015. I can agree to an extent, but in this case not like the Trans was being a creep. Some places make you live your life as a gender for so long, before they do the procedure on you. Just something to keep in mind.