This is the feel good story of the month so far.
Planet Fitness, a national chain of fitness clubs, has a the motto “Judgement Free Zone”. So, when one of their members in Midland, Michigan complained (and complained and complained) that a trans* woman was using the women’s locker room, they reluctantly took action. The action was to tell the small-minded complaining woman to take her business elsewhere as she was no longer welcome at their club and they cancelled her membership:
Yvette Cormier said the incident occurred Saturday, Feb. 28, when she entered the women’s locker room at the Planet Fitness location at 701 Joe Mann Boulevard in Midland.
“I was blocked, because a man was standing there,” Cormier said. “It freaked me out because, why is a man in here?”
Cormier said an employee at the front desk told her that the individual identifies as a woman.
After taking her complaints to Planet Fitness’ corporate office, Cormier said she was told that the gym was a “no judgement zone” and they would not tell the individual in question to stay out of the women’s locker room. […]
According to Cormier, she returned to the gym each day between Monday and Thursday. While there, Cormier said she told women in the locker room about the individual she observed in the bathroom the weekend before.
Cormier said she then got a call from Planet Fitness’ corporate office telling her that she was violating their “no judgement” policy. She says they asked if she was going to stop talking to other women in the locker room and she said she would not.
Cormier said the representative told her she was no longer welcome at the gym.
Planet Fitness issued this statement about the matter:
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 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.
And that, my friends, is exactly how you handle small minded bigots whose world is too small to include people who are different from them. Kudos to Planet Fitness for taking the right step in this situation.
[CC image credit: Paradox | Wikimedia Commons]