Thursday, October 31, 2013

LA Fitness Hates On A Transwoman

One of my not so fond memories of one of my frequent non-rev trips to Los Angeles in the late 90's was when I flew out there as soon as my gate shift was over at 9 PM on Wednesday to spend two of my three consecutive off days hanging out with my homegirl Seni.

But unfortunately on that particular trip my flight got delayed due to a cold front passing through the Houston area.  It not only cooled the temps off in the IAH area, it created dense fog that dropped visibility enough to create lengthy ATC delays into and out of IAH because at that time it only had four runways  

By the time we finally took off  to do the 3 plus hour flight to Los Angeles my 12 AM Pacific time arrival in LAX became a 2 AM one.   Me thinking I'd be able to make up that sleep I lost on the trip to the Left Coast was cruelly shattered when Seni woke my peacefully slumbering butt up to accompany her to her nearby LA Fitness gym for a workout.  

I was so pissed off that when I hit the Stairmaster in that near Beverly Hills area location I was stomping my pissivity out on it for 20 minutes before I realized it was set to be much harder than I normally liked and my legs reminded me of it a few minutes later when they cramped up. 

Yanel ValenzuelaThat trip down Moni Memory Lane was generated because of the story that TransGriot reader Jazmine Brockington sent me concerning transwoman Yanel Valenzuela.  

She was allegedly told after she revealed her trans status to an LA Fitness employee in an effort to get workout advice specific to her situation she could no longer use the women's locker room.  

The cis female manager at the Montclair, CA location  (located at 9385 Monte Vista Ave in case anybody in the LA area wants to organize a picket of it)  told a stunned Valenzuela she could no longer use the women's locker room.   The manager was also unmoved when Valenzuela produced her carry letter from her gender therapist and herCalifornia DL with the F in the gender code area. 

“It gave me emotional stress,” Valenzuela told reporters. “I don’t think it was fair... I felt hurt because I don’t understand why she did it. She had no reason. She had no complaints from anyone."

According to news reports in the area LA Fitness is aware of the situation but has no comment   And note to that transphobic cis female manager:  In California trans people are a protected class under the state's anti-discrimination laws.

"I hope this never happens to anybody again because it’s not fair for me to be disrespected in front of clients and members that come here,” Valenzuela said. 

So do I Ms. Valenzuela.  And hope you give Lambda Legal's LA office a call while you're at it. 

And it is because of situations like this why I go straight the hell off when some cis person, especially from the GLB community tries to suggest we pass half-assed trans human rights laws (Massachusetts) that don't have public accommodations language in them. 

No comments: