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Transgender Woman Sues Club for Discrimination

Andy Berg

A transgender woman is suing a California gym, claiming gym management failed to accommodate her after she was threatened by another member.

“I lived so many years presenting myself as a male. Because I knew that is what was expected of me, and I didn't want to make others uncomfortable. The whole time, Christynne is inside Christopher going ‘I’m suffocating, please don’t let me die,'” Wood said. 

According to a report from WCPO in Cincinnati, two months after Wood began her transition to female in July 2016, another gym member started harassing her while she was using the men’s locker room.

“The individual comes over to me and says something untoward, and makes a threatening gesture and walks in my direction,” Wood said, noting that she was terrified and ran out of the men's locker room and told management. 

Management first told her she could use the upstairs men’s room, but she claims the harassment continued. She brought a letter from her endocrinologist, explaining Wood’s treatment and asking Crunch Fitness to accommodate her. Woods said it took management seven months to finally allow her to use the women’s locker room.

"I thought I had friends in management that so totally understood me.,” Wood said. “When that was betrayed, how would you feel?"

Woods said she didn’t want to sue the gym but that she needed to do it to bring attention to the matter. "It makes me cry that it had to get to this degree,” Wood said. “Nobody wants to sue anyone. Nobody does anything or pays attention until somebody hurts or inconveniences them and then they realize the magnitude and depth of what they’ve done wrong.”

Crunch Fitness released a statement in response to the lawsuit, which was announced last week by the ACLU:

“Our philosophy at Crunch is “no judgments,” and we promote positive body image and self-esteem in a fun atmosphere. All of our gyms are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all members. The club from which the complaint arose is an independently owned and operated franchise and we cannot speak to the circumstance of the allegations.”

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