Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Planet Fitness bans member who photographed trans woman changing — and it’s not sorry

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As it turns out, Planet Fitness has better trans-inclusive locker room policies than most red states.

The gym chain recently defended its decision to revoke the membership of a woman who photographed another woman in a changing room. Patricia Silva was banned after she shared a video on Facebook featuring the other woman, who is transgender, while complaining about her presence in the woman’s locker room.

Silva consistently misgendered the other woman in the video, saying that she “love[s]” her “in Christ” and that she “is a spiritual being having a human experience,” but that she wasn’t “comfortable” with the woman “shaving in my bathroom.” Silva asserted that the woman “doesn’t like” her gender at birth, so she “wants to be a woman.”

Silva also pearl-clutched over the woman being near a 12-year-old girl in the locker room, despite no incident or interaction taking place. She then said that after verbally berating the woman, she reported her to the staff at the front desk, who did not take action.

“The two men standing at the desk, put their heads down, and their tails between their legs!” Silva claimed.

Planet Fitness’s nondiscrimination policy states that employees cannot discriminate against transgender people unless a “serious concern or significant doubt” about their identity arises. It explains: “If it is confirmed that a member is acting in bad faith and improperly asserts a gender identity, they may be asked to leave and their membership may be terminated.”

After the video gained traction online, Planet Fitness revoked Silva’s membership. The inevitable right-wing backlash followed, with Silva’s video being repromoted by conservative extremist account LibsofTikTok and Twitter/X owner Elon Musk.

A spokesperson for the gym recently defended the decision to the Daily Mail, maintaining that not only did Silva violate Planet Fitness’s policy on mobile devices in locker rooms, but that “discomfort is not a reason to deny access.”

“As the home of the Judgement Free Zone, Planet Fitness is committed to creating an inclusive environment,” they said. “Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use the gym facilities that best align with their sincere, self-reported gender identity. The member who posted on social media violated our mobile device policy that prohibits taking photos of individuals in the locker room, which resulted in their membership being terminated.”

Silva, displeased with the outcome, vowed in another Facebook post to report the incident to the police, despite no crime being committed.

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