A teenager saw a trans woman showering in a women’s locker room. It ended with riot police
Riot police were called to break up tense rival protests in San Diego after a bitter dispute over the local YMCA’s trans-inclusive locker room policy.
Two dozen police officers armed with riot gear and batons reportedly pushed apart protesters on Wednesday (17 January) after an argument over a trans woman using the women’s locker rooms grew tense.
A 17-year-old testified during a local city council meeting on 11 January that she saw the trans individual – whom she called a “naked male” – showering in the locker room of the San Diego County’s YMCA.
Rebecca Phillips says she quickly ran into a closed-off bathroom stall and clothed herself before complaining to employees.
They explained that the YMCA allows trans women to use the facilities along with every member, as long as they aren’t on the sex offender registry.
Phillips complained to the council she felt “as though [she] had done something wrong” when talking to the staff members, while continually using anti-trans language.
“The fact that we are now tailoring our privacy policies and bathroom laws around transgenders, ignoring the blatant threat that this poses is obscene,” she baselessly claimed.
“The safety of children [and] girls is on the chopping block.”
Phillips said her family went as far as to contact the local police department after hearing about the complaint and that officers told her father “never to let her shower at the gym ever again”.
The council testimony created a wholly ridiculous backlash among right-wing groups who couldn’t believe a trans woman was showering in a gym locker room.
Riot police disperse protestors at Santee YMCA gym
In response, anti-trans group 4 Choice arranged a protest on Wednesday outside of the gym, which an estimated 300 people attended.
It was met by LGBTQ+ counterprotesters who arrived waving rainbow flags and voicing messages of trans solidarity.
Things became heated after insults were thrown around and physical altercations broke out, prompting police to arrive and disperse the two groups.
The YMCA gym reportedly closed five hours early in response to the altercation, saying that its “priority is that everyone is welcome and safe.”
“We will work to ensure our privacy measures reflect that,” YMCA CEO Todd Tibbits said.
“We understand that the minor involved felt hurt and frustrated, and we wholeheartedly apologise for not providing her with the level of support she deserves.”
But many LGBTQ+ activists have come out in support of the unidentified trans woman, saying that the claim of women being in danger was unnecessary because she was “minding her business.”
“There is zero privacy in a locker room aside from the stalls. If that were actually their issue, the laws would ban open locker rooms but that never seems to come up,” one person wrote.
Santee vice mayor Laura Koval reportedly suggested that the city could raise money to help construct private gym stalls for people to change clothes in.
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