A transgender woman said she felt 'devastated' after she found out that she was banned from a female-only gym she had just joined.
Brigid Klyne-Simpson said that she was literally welcomed with open arms to the Bodyworks Fitness in Parkville, Canada.
Brigid spoke to CHEK News about the situation, saying:
"One of the trainers there greeted me, and she was extremely kind and she could basically tell I was trans right away and said I would be welcome there, and explicitly said I would be safe as well, even gave me a hug."
Brigid explained why she was so excited and relieved to have found a female-only gym, saying:
"I fell out of it in university because I was just kind of intimidated being around a bunch of mostly really buff guys at the university gym.
"So finding a ladies gym was something that seemed really exciting, and now that I’m out, I understand why I was uncomfortable at the other place."
Shortly after signing up for a membership at Bodyworks Fitness, Brigid headed back there last week, where she worked out for around an hour.
Just days after that workout though, she received a phone call from the same employee who had welcomed her so nicely to the gym and sorted her membership out. The employee explained:
"Sorry, we made a mistake, you’re not actually allowed to be here, but you’re more than welcome to use the co-ed facility."
Brigid abruptly hung up, also telling CHEK News:
"I was extremely devastated, there’s really no other word for it."
Despite the fact that Brigid was permitted to use the mixed gender gym, she explained that working out in those spaces are not as comfortable as working out in a female-only gym due to the fact that mostly men use co-ed gyms.
Despite this episode, Bodyworks Fitness owner Dale Nagra stands by his decision to ban her, suggesting that Brigid, who has been on hormone replacement therapy for more than three years, is welcome to use the mixed-gender gym.
Nagra explained: "We want them to be comfortable, but we also have to worry about the young girls that this gym is set up for and the women, and how are their parents gonna feel that they’re in there, then this person walks in with a male voice and big person.
"So now you pick the comfort of the male who identifies as a woman... and then anybody can go in there saying, 'OK, I identify as a woman, and I want to be able to go in there'.
"And so, do we pick the comfort of the transgender person, and they may not be as comfortable with the co-ed gym but at least that’s an alternative, or do we pick the comfort of the young girls that are working out there that might not feel comfortable?"
The publication highlighted the fact that there are no increased safety risks when transgender people are allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity, and that evidence for this is increasing.
A 2021 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that transgender people are four times more likely to be a victim of violent crime compared to cisgender people.
Brigid explains that she understands that some people may not understand but, 'all it takes is education'.
"Once you understand trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are who they say they are, it’s as simple as that," she continued.
"If you still feel uncomfortable after that, that’s on you, it’s not on me. I am who I am, it’s as simple as that. I just look different. That’s all."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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