In Midland, Michigan, a woman’s gym membership was suspended after she witnessed a man using the women’s locker room and insisted on telling other women at the gym what she saw. Yvette Cormier, 48, said that on Sunday, February 28, she walked into the Midland Planet Fitness locker room last Saturday and saw a man wearing a wig and “a little bit of blush” who was “huge” and appeared “very manly.” She told ABC News, “I just stopped right there in my tracks. It was a man for sure.”
When she inquired of the front desk why a man was there, the employee answered that the man identified as a woman. Cormier approached the Planet Fitness’ corporate office, only to be told, according to Cormier, that Planet Fitness policy is “whatever gender you feel you are, that’s the locker room you’re allowed to go in… We’ve had lots of complaints about him but we told him to go change in a stall… if you’re uncomfortable with that you can wait until he’s done in there.”
Cormier said she asked, “How about he waits until I’m done in the women’s locker room? Or get a unisex bathroom?” When the employee asked if she wanted to speak with the manager, Cormier responded, ‘I’m calling corporate.'”
Cormier asserted that she went back to the gym every day through Thursday, and informed other women about what she had seen. That prompted the Planet Fitness’ corporate office to call and tell her she was violating their “no judgement” policy. They asked her if she would stop speaking to other women about the issue. She refused, so they suspended her membership.
McCall Gosselin, public relations director for Planet Fitness, stated that whatever gender identity a person decides to use allows them to use that particular locker room. Large, intimidating men dressed up as women have every right to use the women’s locker room. His statement read:
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.
Cormier said that the policy does not create a safe environment for women, and commented, “I feel it’s kind of one-sided. I feel like I am the one who is being punished.” She said her solution would be to offer a third locker room for transgender people. The women’s locker room features s private changing stalls and includes bathroom stalls with doors.
Planet Fitness has over 900 clubs nationwide, one of which, in Moline, Illinois, precipitated a class action lawsuit charging it with negligence from members using their tanning salon who were videotaped by hidden cameras while they were undressed. Attorney Thomas Zimmerman told the Quad-City Times, “We do know the first camera was discovered Nov. 5 in the tanning room, and the company did not notify any of the members of this camera and simply allowed them to continue in the tanning rooms. The second camera was discovered Nov. 6, and then after that, Nov. 7, was when they actually notified members that there were cameras.”