It’s hard enough for homosexuals to choose the right homosexual gym, but must we really deal with one that actively discriminates against our own kind? That’s what Deborah Cooke and Christina Rodino, two lesbian trainers (and roommates), say they dealt with at David Barton Gym in Manhattan, one of the country’s gayest fitness facilities. But the pair were ousted Dec. 2 after enduring anti-gay harassment and complaining about it, their new lawsuit claims.
Cooke says she was dubbed “Lesbian Deb” at the gym, called a “fucking dyke,” and was asked by her manager “whether she was ‘going to strap on a penis tonight.’” They also claim they were instructed “to engage in sexual relations with another woman at the workplace.” And the allegations don’t end there. Some are directed right at the gym’s owner David Barton (pictured), who has a son and just split with nightlife queen Susan Bartsch in December, who is known for “molesting female staff members,” the court filing says. Barton put Cooke, who earned some $100k a year, in his phone as “Dyke Cooke,” she alleges.
Barton’s reps deny the claims and insist the pair were fired for training outside clients, something the plaintiffs say other (straight) trainers did all the time without discipline.
Now what happened to the David Barton Gym we grew to know and love, the one where you can get a HJ in the sauna after a brutal workout?