opinion

COLUMN: Sometimes, the customer isn't right



If you can’t take the equality, get out of the locker room. That’s basically what Planet Fitness told Yvette Cormier, a Michigan woman, when she made a hoopla about a trans woman in the locker room, according to CNN.

Cormier claims she brought her concerns to the front desk Feb. 28 at her local gym when she spotted a fellow gym member, who she said looked like a man, in the women’s locker room.

After being told the “no-judgment” policy the corporation has in place that lets members use facilities based on “their sincere, self-reported gender identity,” she called Plant Fitness’ corporate headquarters to continue her complaint. Headquarters gave her the same answer, citing their policy.

Planet Fitness wouldn’t have ended Cormier’s membership had she not taken the matter into her own hands.

Cormier then went back to the gym four days in a row “to get the word out” to other women about Planet Fitness’ policy of “let(ing) men in the women’s locker room.”

“Every day I said, ‘Just so you know, there’s a man they allow in this locker room, and they don’t tell you that when you sign up,’” she said.

That’s when her membership was canceled. If we correctly analyze the situation, Cormier’s complaints to management aren’t enough to revoke her membership.

Personally, I would have booted her butt to the curb the moment she claimed someone else’s gender identity become a threat to her “safety.” But as Director of Public Relations at Planet Fitness Corporate McCall Gosselin said, “We welcome all feedback from our members.”

However, her grotesque behavior at the gym, which harms other gym members, was enough for Planet Fitness to end the membership.

Cormier was later quoted saying, “If you have male parts, you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room. I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or transvestite. I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom.”

Good thing it’s not your locker room, Cormier. In fact, it was never your locker room. You’re a customer using a business’s locker room, and if you don’t like their rules, you can take your money elsewhere. That’s how capitalism works.

I don’t care if you’re a straight “mother of two” who’s more worried about your own ease than someone else’s safety. I am uncomfortable with you as a chauvinist transphobe in my country.

I would like to point out that not once did Cormier voice concerns for the safety of the trans woman in question. According to the 2011 NCAVP Hate Violence Report, 44 percent of reported hate murders targeted transgender women, with trans women representing only 10 percent of total hate violence survivors and victims.

I’m positive someone who’s at risk of some of the highest rates of violence in this country has more concerns about being in the right locker room than you.

We’re going to have to deal with bigots like Cormier who think they’re entitled to their idiotic opinions because they’re paying for a service. It’s enough to make your blood boil, but anger toward ignorant people is as useful as a hole in the head.

Instead, let’s focus on Planet Fitness and its phenomenal handling of the situation.

Not only did it have a policy implemented beforehand that supported trans folk and other gender nonbinary people, but it nipped Cormier’s transphobic campaign around the gym in the butt.

Take note, bigots. Forward-thinking companies don’t want your business. And the more steps we take toward equality, the fewer establishments will be open that have the same ?closed-minded ideas as you.

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