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Posted: March 08, 2015

Planet Fitness bans member who complained about transgender woman in locker room

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

MIDLAND, Mich. —

A Planet Fitness gym in Midland, Michigan, has banned a member after she complained to staff about a transgender woman using the locker room.

According to ABC News, Yvette Cormier, 48, said she spoke to a staff member at the front desk last weekend after she noticed someone "dressed like a man" in the women's locker room. 

Cormier said the person was wearing blush and a wig but looked "very manly."

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The staff member said, "Whatever gender you feel you are, that's the locker room you're allowed to go in," according to Cormier.

The staff member reportedly told Cormier that if she felt uncomfortable, she could wait until the transgender woman left the locker room. 

"I stood back and said, 'How about he waits until I'm done in the women's locker room? Or get a unisex bathroom,'" Cormier told ABC. "He asked if I would like to talk to the manager, and I said, 'I'm calling corporate.'"

The corporate office reaffirmed the company's gender-identity policy. Cormier said she told several other members about the incident, and the gym eventually revoked her membership.

"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 company, which markets itself as a "judgment-free zone," 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 cancelled."

In an interview with WNEM-TV, Char Davenport, a professor and member of the area transgender community, praised Planet Fitness for its effort to be more inclusive. But she also stressed that many people don't understand transgender issues and may be caught off-guard in similar situations.

"Private showers and changing areas really would go a long way in resolving these issues," she said.

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