Planet Fitness dubs itself the “judgment free zone” and its mantra is once again up for debate, thanks to Yvette Cormier. Late last month, Cormier, a member at a Midland, Michigan, location of the chain, made “inappropriate” comments about a transgender woman, for which her membership was revoked.
While the gym welcomes feedback, they felt the way Cormier voiced her concerns about another member was uncalled for. According to Cormier, she was simply trying to point out that she felt unsafe with a man in the locker room.
“He looked like a man and that’s what stopped me in my tracks,” she explained to CNN. She then took her complaint to management, and a gym employee notified her of the “no judgment” policy, which allows members to use locker rooms based on their self-reported gender identity.
Cormier wasn’t satisfied with that response. “If you have male parts you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room. I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or transvestite. I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom,” she told CNN.
She returned to the gym four days in a row to tell other women that Planet Fitness allows men in the women's locker room. “Every day I said ‘just so you know, there’s a man they allow in this locker room and they don’t tell you that when you sign up,'” Cormier told CNN.
Planet Fitness then canceled her membership.
McCall Gosselin, director of public relations at Planet Fitness Corporate, provided this statement to Health in an email: “Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled.”
We appreciate that, for some, changing in a public place can be uncomfortable. One suggestion for people who don't want to undress around others: Use the private changing rooms many fitness facilities offer. (Cormier is reportedly in favor of installing unisex bathrooms.) However, we think it would be more productive if people didn't alienate themselves or others. Everyone should feel comfortable at the gym, regardless of gender identification or sexual orientation.