YMCA in Washington State: Transgender patrons must now use private locker rooms and restrooms in facilities open to children
October 7, 2015
YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap county in Washington State has rolled back their transgender open locker room policy, which had allowed access to opposite sex locker rooms, showers, and restrooms to members who had proclaimed a belief that they are “mentally” the opposite sex. The changes came about after a mother and YMCA volunteer went to the press and exposed the risks to children, and potential liability for the non-profit, that the former policy created.
“Following complaints from the public, Bob Ecklund, President and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap county, issued a statement Oct. 5 saying the organization is modifying the policy for transgender individuals in locker rooms and restrooms in “family facilities.” Ecklund said the change was to ensure youth are not exposed to the opposite sex in their locker room.
Ecklund said the new policy states that “transgender members in transition will use private locker rooms for dressing and showering. Transgender members may use standalone restrooms that align with their gender identification. The change applies to: Gordon Family YMCA, Mel Korum Family YMCA, Lakewood Family YMCA, Morgan Family YMCA, Tom Taylor Family YMCA, Bremerton Family YMCA, Haselwood Family YMCA.
For locker rooms at “adult facilities,” transgender members may use locker rooms and restrooms that align with their gender identification. That applies to Tacoma Center YMCA and University Y Student Center.
“We understand transgender individuals who are in transition often face a dilemma on where to change and shower, and the Y strives to be a place to be safe and inclusive of everyone in our care,” Ecklund wrote.
“I want to emphasize this narrow revision of the policy is focused on dressing and showering spaces only, as they are the most sensitive spaces in our facility, especially as it relates to children.”
Ecklund noted that as a nonprofit in Washington State, YMCAs are both “employers” and “places of public accommodation,” and that they are required to comply with all laws regulating employers and places of public accommodations.
“Washington State recognizes transgender rights and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which includes gender identity,” Ecklund wrote. “We believe we are both following the law and accommodating our diverse groups of members. We also note this is an evolving area of the law, and we will continue to stay tuned to updates from Washington State.”
Read the whole story, which is very interesting and well-reported by journalist Eric Mandel here:
October 6, 2015
Officials at the University of Toronto were forced to eliminate their “gender neutral” bathroom policy after a string of incidents involving women being filmed while showering. On at least two separate occasions last month, female students spotted cell phones being held over the stall partition to record them while they bathed. The perpetrators have not been caught. No word yet on whether the victims will sue the University for putting them at risk with the policy, which restricted women’s ability to bathe and use the toilet away from the presence of men.
“Toronto Police Const. Victor Kwong said Monday that two women in separate instances at the Whitney Hall residence reported that they saw a cellphone reach over the shower-stall dividers in an attempt to record them. Police have yet to find any information about the culprit, but the investigation is ongoing.
At least one gender-neutral washroom remains on each floor.
Melinda Scott, the dean of students at University College, said some bathrooms in Whitney Hall have now been designated specifically for residents who identify as men or women. However, several gender-neutral bathrooms remain.
“The purpose of this temporary measure is to provide a safe space for the women who have been directly impacted by the incidents of voyeurism and other students who may feel more comfortable in a single-gender washroom,” said Scott.
“On two separate occasions — September 15 and 19 — two female residents at the university’s Whitney Hall residence building were the victims of voyeurism, having been filmed while they were showering. As a result, Whitney Hall and its four University College (UC) housing affiliates have revoked their gender neutral policy on many of the residence’s washrooms.
It fell to Melinda Scott, dean of students at UC, to break the news. “Given the serious nature of these incidents and the impact on directly affected students, we made the decision to specifically designate some washrooms throughout the building for those who identify as men and those who identify as women. At the same time, there remains at least one gender-neutral washroom per floor and per house,” Scott said in a statement to The Varsity.
Many students are in shock. “It’s scary to think that there’s someone nearby that’s doing that kind of thing,” said Tessa Mahrt-Smith, a first-year Whitney resident. Melissa Birch, also a first-year resident of Whitney and shares Mahrt-Smith’s sentiments. “I think it sucks that there are going to be people that don’t feel safe in Whitney now, and that we can’t have an inclusive environment.”
October 6, 2015
The University determined that Julie’s feminist view -that gender is a social construct which is harmful to women- makes her an “unsafe” person whose speech “could harm” transgender students. The other speaker scheduled for the event, “men’s rights activist” Milo Yiannopoulos, author of, among other things “Transgenderism is a psychiatric disorder: Its sufferers need therapy, not surgery” was given the go-ahead to appear.When asked to explain the mind-boggling hypocrisy of their decision to censor, Student Union Women’s Officer Jess Lishak clarified that it was Julie Bindel’s status as a woman and a feminist that made her views dangerous. You can read her statement here:
“Our safe space policy clearly states that we will not allow visiting speakers or members to “say things that are likely to incite hatred against any individual or group based on age, disability, marital or maternity/paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or sexual activity, gender identity, trans status, socio-economic status, or ideology or culture”, Jess Lishak points out in her statement. The policy provides no provision against sex-based discrimination, as sex is not a protected category. Lishak stated that the decision to ban Julie Bindel and allow Milo Yiannopoulos to speak was unanimous among the Executive officers:
October 2, 2015
September 27, 2015
For everyone asking what sort of parent would ever defend and lobby for strap-on dildos designed and marketed to four-year-old girls. Here they are! Read the agony of mothers in the stagecoach era forced to haphazardly “crochet bird seed filled cylinders” for their four-year-old children born female. Read how President George Washington’s “affirmed” nephew bore a roughly hewn wooden penis throughout his girlhood. Read about the conundrum of children who simply want to pee but don’t have a penis. Read how dildos for toddlers are “a testament to the love that parents have for their child”. Read about how providing a four-year-old female with “a bulge down there” is like “searching the shops for that toy everyone else is getting for Christmas”. Read a post that contains the word “Momma” thirteen times. Enjoy!
Originally posted on Parenting Jeremy - a gender journey:
For me this picture symbolises the instant connection that J had with a young trans guy last week, Who knew that one week later I have watched in horror as this young one and his mother have become the target for anti transgender ignorance.
A while ago I saw a post from a fellow momma, her precious child O was struggling and she was looking for a solution. Unlike Jeremy, O was not yet into puberty. He was worried that people would notice that unlike other boys, people would notice that he was missing a bulge “down there”. Let me draw a parallel – if as a parent you have a) searched the shops looking for Elsa knickers or a purple sparkly top b) that toy that everyone else is getting for Christmas c) spent hours online looking for the perfect absolutely whatever it is your child has expressed a desire for; you…
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