Usually the only time we hear anything about Planet Fitness is when somebody is eating pizza on a machine, or using the equipment in a way that’s so wrong it’s kind of impressive.
Of course, their slogan does deem the inexpensive gym chain a “Judgement Free Zone.” So why should anyone care if someone wants to use the machines as a dinner table or napping vessel?
Despite some of their gym member’s bad habits, Planet Fitness just did something that impressed us more than a pizza-eating weight lifter ever could. When one member of a Planet Fitness in Michigan would not stop complaining about a transgender woman in the locker room, the staff swiftly revoked her membership, explaining the gym is a ‘welcoming environment’ for all members.
Yvette Cormier, who first complained to Planet Fitness staff about seeing a “man” in the women’s locker room, didn’t take their “no judgement” policy to heart. Instead, she continued to show up at the gym and speak to the woman in question — Carlotta Sklodowski. When that didn’t work, she went to the corporate office. Unfortunately for Comier–but fortunately for equal rights–the powers-that-be determined that her behavior violated the membership policy, canceling her relationship with the gym.
Three points for Planet Fitness! The chain released a statement explaining their case:
“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.”
While this is just one small step for the transgender community, I think it’s great that businesses are standing up for equality. While a transgender person struggles with which locker room to use, it shouldn’t be up to the public to make them feel even more uncomfortable about it.
Changing in public can be a little uneasy for everyone, so the Planet Fitness in question has private changing stalls — which, if Cormier really felt uncomfortable undressing in the locker room, could have used.
Luckily for Sklodowski, she not only has the gym chain’s support, but that of the community. People flocked to the Planet Fitness Facebook page to show their support for the transgender community.
Along with Planet Fitness, let’s all exercise our support for equal rights for everyone. And please please, please stop eating pizza at the gym.
(Image via Planet Fitness)