CHANGING ROOM

Trans Woman Claims L.A. Fitness Barred Her From Locker Rooms

valenzuelaA trans woman claims that she has been banned from using the women’s locker room at her local L.A. Fitness, and the gym’s management has nothing to say about it.

Yanel Valenzuela confided in a trainer at L.A. Fitness in Montclair, California, that she is transgender, hoping to develop an exercise routine tailored to her needs. As a result, a manager told her that she could no longer use the women’s facilities.

“It gave me emotional stress,” Valenzuela told CBS Los Angeles. “I don’t think it was fair.” Despite Valenzuela offering her driver’s license and a letter from her physician as proof of her transition, the manager refused to budge.

“I hope this never happens to anybody again,” Valenzuela said. “Because it’s not fair for me to be disrespected in front of clients and the members that come here.”

Valenzuela’s experience unfortunately is common among trans people, who face discrimination and violence when claiming their space in public facilities. Last week, we reported on a trans teen in Colorado who was subjected to libelous attacks from a fringe special interest group when she tried to use the bathroom at her school. And earlier this year, the Arizona legislature attempted to pass a bill that would penalize trans people who use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities.