Equinox Group is backing gender identity among its gym members amid a woman’s public threat to cancel her membership while saying she encountered a man in the women’s locker room.
Transgender rights have been called into question recently, specifically in America, as Republicans demand legislation surrounding LGBTQ+ topics. Gender identity and sexual orientation education has been banned in public schools in Florida, and conservative consumers have launched boycotts against companies partnering with transgender influencers. Recently, a Canadian resident said she encountered what appeared to be a man in the women’s locker room at an Equinox gym in Vancouver. Now, the gym-goer is considering canceling her membership despite having a contract with the gym.
On Thursday Reddit user AgilePomegranate2792 posted her concerns in the Equinox gyms’ subreddit.
The 25-year-old said she posted that she was “unpleasantly surprised” on Thursday while visiting the gym. She said she was changing in the locker room and “turned around fully nude” and saw a “fully bearded male a few lockers away.”
“What ever every ones [sic] personal view on the matter is, I did not feel comfortable in this situation and I burst into tears,” the gym-goer wrote. “A member of the cleaning staff who witnessed the incident told me that equinox recently changed its policy now allowing nonbinary/etc into womens changing rooms. I realize “women” and “female” is not synonymous under current legislation, but has anyone had any trouble canceling their membership before the commitment date is up for this reason specifically?”
NBC News journalist Ben Goggin reshared the post on Twitter, labeling the poster’s actions as transphobic. Goggin said since the bearded person wasn’t changing, the poster couldn’t be sure of their anatomy.
“If you go through this post, it quite literally fits the definition of transphobia,” Goggin tweeted. “This person is clearly saying she is uncomfortable being in the same space as a trans person.”
An Equinox spokesperson told Newsweek that the gym—headquartered in New York City and with more than 300 locations throughout the U.S., London, Toronto and Vancouver—is “open to all members” and is “supportive and respectful of everyone, no matter the situation.”
“Not everyone has the same approach to their own transition or gender identity,” the spokesperson said. “We welcome all individuals and have a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination, hate speech, or harassment.”
In the Reddit post, the gym member goes on to say that it was the first time she experienced this while visiting an Equinox gym, adding that she’d been to several in the U.S. and Canada.
“I do think it’s a recent development,” she wrote. “And I can’t seem to find anywhere their policy on this sort of thing, to see if it was even different from when I signed up (January 2023).”
The poster clarified that the person she identified as a man didn’t “do anything” to her.
“I just don’t feel comfortable changing in front of anyone not female,” she wrote.
Another Reddit user responded to the post, saying she experienced a similar situation at the same Equinox gym.
“I am very open minded but this person looked like a man. I didn’t feel comfortable changing or being nude in the sauna/steam,” the user said.
Another person posted, “This would never fly at my Equinox in Texas.”