By Michael Nam
A Michigan Planet Fitness gym isn’t backing down from its decision to revoke the membership of a female member after complaints she made about a transgender woman being in the women’s locker room.
Yvette Cormier, the former gym member, told WNEM in Michigan, “I was stunned and shocked. He looked like a man. He did not look like a woman.”
WNEM states that Cormier claimed she gets the concept of transgender identities to some extent, but she still takes issue based on the physical appearance of the individual she complained about.
Cormier said she understands that some men self-identify as women and some women self-identify as men, but said the person looked like a man and that caught her off guard.
Despite her “understanding,” Cormier made multiple transphobic statements, as related by RawStory, reiterating common tropes to create alarm about potential predatory men in women’s spaces and consistently misgendering the trans-woman she complained about by using the masculine pronoun “he” and making declarative statements about her physical appearance.
Planet Fitness responded to her allegations that the membership was canceled due to her complaints, clarifying that she was kicked out based on her behavior outside of making an official complaint, according to ABC News.
Planet Fitness Director of Public Relations McCall Gosselin said the gym 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 statement continued, “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.”
While DiversityInc recommends shifting attitudes within a company or organization by educating people about transgender needs involving access to restrooms and locker-room facilities, changing entrenched views of gender identity are particularly difficult. This difficulty is demonstrated in the ongoing attempt to discriminate against transgender people in Florida’s “bathroom bill” and Michigan State Representative Gary Glenn’s taking the side of Yvette Cormier in the dispute, telling MLive, “Planet Fitness obviously should rethink its anti-woman, anti-reality policy.”
The Florida legislature and Representative Glenn ignore reality themselves while pushing fear, as ACLU attorney Jay Kaplan told MLive, “A transgender woman would be much more at risk for her safety if she had to use the men’s bathroom.”