Planet Fitness stands by ban on member who took photo of trans woman in locker room

Planet Fitness has stood by its decision to ban a member who took a picture of a trans woman using a gym’s female locker room and confronted them about their presence there.

It comes after a complaint raised by US woman Patricia Silva, who allegedly saw a trans woman shaving in the locker room of her Alaska gym and took a picture of the individual in question.  

Silva recounted that she approached the trans person and told them they should not be using the same changing room as herself. 

In a video shared to Facebook, Silva recounted the incident and persistently misgendered the person: “I just came out of Planet Fitness. There is a man shaving in the women’s bathroom. 

“I love him in Christ. He is a spiritual being having a human experience. He doesn’t like his gender so he wants to be a woman, but I’m not comfortable with him shaving in my bathroom. I just thought I’d say it out loud.”

She continued: “I looked at him, said ‘hey’… he looked up… and I said, ‘You are a man shaving in the women’s bathroom, and I am not OK with that.”

She alleged the person replied that they were “LGB”. 

Silva said: “Whatever that is… nevertheless, I told him ‘You’re a MAN and you’re invading my space!” 

Planet Fitness says is has a “judgement free-zone” mantra. (Getty)

Silva went onto to say she reported the other member to staff on reception: “The two men standing at the desk, put their heads down, and their tails between their legs! 

“As I was walking out the door… at my back, a woman shouts ‘it’s a girl’… I shouted back ‘it’s a man!”

She said Planet Fitness proceeded to cancel her membership, which the gym company said was due to her taking photographs inside the locker room, which is prohibited.  

In a statement, the gym brand – which has more than 2,500 locations – said whilst people might feel “uncomfortable” with trans folk using the same spaces as them, this “discomfort is not a reason to deny access”. 

The policy statement added staff should work with members and employees to “address this discomfort and to “foster a climate of understanding”. 

In a statement shared with the Daily Mail, Planet Fitness said: “As the home of the Judgement Free Zone, Planet Fitness is committed to creating an inclusive environment. 

“Our gender identity non-discrimination policy, states that members and guests may use the gym facilities that best align with their sincere, self-reported gender identity,’ it read.  

“The member who posted on social media violated our mobile device policy that prohibits taking photos of individuals in the locker room, which resulted in their membership being terminated.”

This is not the first time Planet Fitness has been at the centre of a locker room storm.

In 2019, a man threatened to kill a trans woman who was using the female changing rooms at a Planet Fitness in New Hampshire.

As a result, the trans woman got injunction against him which banned him from contacting and coming within 250 feet of the victim as well as entering the fitness facility.

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