A Planet Fitness member made a scene after witnessing a transgender woman in the female locker room, and the gym chain responded in the best way possible — they canceled her membership.
The word “transgender” may be gaining traction across America — and by all means, that’s a good thing — but individual attitudes and prejudices naturally lag far behind.
That being said, we give Planet Fitness two thumbs up for how they chose to handle member Yvette Cormier’s complaints at their Midland, Michigan location.
Yvette was upset that she saw a trans woman in the locker room, and complained to gym staff. The employee respectfully informed her that it’s gym policy to allow members and guests to use whichever locker room corresponds with their gender identity. That didn’t go over too well.
In retaliation, Yvette decided to tell “everyone in the locker room what happened.”
The choice was simple for the gym — buh bye, Yvette. Membership canceled.
In a statement to HuffPost, Planet Fitness clarified the reason for the revoked membership:
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 membership of the member in question was not cancelled as a result of complaints about the policy, as we welcome all feedback from our members. Rather, the manner in which she expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that club management deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled.
Carlotta Sklodowska believes it was her presence in the facility that sparked the disagreement. She told Michigan Live that she isn’t even a member of the gym, but came as the guest of a friend. She says she was in the locker room twice, wearing leggings and a baggy T-shirt, and did not witness anyone bothered by her presence.
It isn’t hard to predict the fear-based rhetoric coming from the right on this one.
The Family Research Council said in a blog post that Planet Fitness is “no longer part of the rational universe,” suggesting people choose gyms where “the atmosphere will be more conducive to moral sanity.” Which, if you know anything about the hate-fueled group, is pretty rich.
Michigan State Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Larkin Township) called Planet Fitness’ stance an “in-your-face policy” and said it threatens women’s safety. Because the Republican party has always been about women’s safety first. Just like that time congressional Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act expire.
Yvette is sticking by her position in the media, which from our point of view, looks a lot like someone seeing how much of their foot they can physically get inside their mouth.
“They said, ‘You are talking to people about him in the women’s locker room. You are making people upset.’ That’s my whole point,” she told ABC News. “I’m telling them and warning them because you are not doing that. You allow men in there, and we are appalled by it.”