Chicago: Transgender man prevented from using men’s shower room at spa

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A transgender man has filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights after the manager of a spa near Chicago asked him not to use the men’s shower room.

Levi Pine filed the complaint last month against King Spa & Sauna in Niles, Illinois.

Mr Pine’s lawyers told the Windy City Times that he simply wants an apology and for the spa to adopt a trans-inclusive policy.

“The experience I had was particularly degrading,” said Mr Pine.

When he went to the spa on 9 Dec with a friend, he used the men’s shower facilities.

Mr Pine said the manager approached him while he was naked and asked to speak with him.

He was then asked to use a private shower, with the manager claiming he had received complaints from other customers.

“I shouldn’t have to be sequestered into a private area,” Mr Pine later told Windy City Times. “Just because some people who go there are uncomfortable with my body, shouldn’t change what I have to do and shouldn’t change my rights as a customer.”

Illinois law protects transgender citizens in public accommodations.

Joanie Rae Wimmer, the attorney behind the first successful transgender case under the Illinois Human Rights Act, said she believes Mr Pine has a valid claim.

“It’s clear that they denied him enjoyment of equal facilities,” she said.