Planet Fitness Declares Itself Unfit

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Planet Fitness revoked a woman's membership after she complained about a transgender man in the locker room.
Planet Fitness revoked a woman's membership after she complained about a transgender man in the locker room. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Cormier, for her part, claimed that "she wasn't complaining because the person was transsexual, but because she thought there was a man in the women's room.

"'This is very unprofessional,' she said. 'This is very scary.'"

To be sure, we have no idea at this point whether the way she presented her complaint was appropriate, but we do know that Planet Fitness is sticking with its policy.

According to an official statement, "Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members," apparently failing to ask if the presence of an obviously biological male in the ladies' locker room might be intimidating and non-welcoming to all their female customers.

The statement continued: "Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."

In other words, there is no test that is given (or can be given), no way to see if the person might be a heterosexual male voyeur (or worse) dressed up as a woman (this has happened in other states and venues), no method to determine whether the individual might be suffering some kind of mental disorder (as some former transsexuals now argue).

Not a chance. Instead, in whatever way the person self-reports and self-identifies, that's how they are treated, to the point of sharing a locker room with people of the opposite sex.

And while in most cases, it would be assumed that a biological male who identifies as a female would want to disrobe and shower privately, that doesn't mean that the discomfort experienced by the other females would be any less acute, nor does it mean that some "transgender women" would have any problem displaying their male genitalia around other women. (For an infamous example of this, see here.)

Cormier subsequently went back to the gym and reported that every woman in the locker room she talked to about this was "appalled."

But rather than Planet Fitness revisiting their policy, which is what was getting people upset, they blamed her for making people upset by talking about this.

Since the gym claims to take the concerns of its members seriously, I would encourage all of you who are members of Planet Fitness to speak to your local gym about this, asking them to inform their corporate offices, politely requesting that they only allow biological males to use the men's locker room and biological females to use the women's locker room.

Should they feel it is crucial that they accommodate self-identified transgender members, they can build additional changing rooms for them.

Until then, they have an obligation to limit men's rooms to men and women's rooms to women. This is not "transphobic." This is basic common sense and fundamental social sanity.

If they can't do something this simple, they don't deserve your membership.

 Michael Brown is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire." He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.

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