A California teen cried as she recalled seeing “a naked man” in her local YMCA, telling the city council in her San Diego suburb she’d been traumatized by the experience with the person she described as a trans woman.
Rebecca Philips, 17, said she was changing after swimming one day last month at the Santee YMCA when she spotted a naked trans woman in the changing rooms.
“As I was showering after my workout I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room,’ she told the Santee City Council. “I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.”
Philips said the policy of allowing trans women in the female locker rooms should be changed — adding she was especially worried her 5-year-old sister could be exposed to naked trans women at the YMCA, the Daily Mail reported.
“This is the YMCA, where hundreds of children spend their summer afternoons in childcare camps,” Philips added. “This is the YMCA where my little sister took gymnastics lessons. The locker room was supposed to be her safe haven to gossip with her friends, and shower and change.”
Philips said she was reprimanded by YMCA staffers who told her the trans woman had every right to be in the YMCA female changing rooms, the Daily Mail said.
Women’s facilities may be used by anyone in California now that state law says people must be allowed to use facilities that align with their gender identity.
Philips told the council she was very upset by the experience but when she brought up the issue to YMCA management, she was told that the “man I saw was indeed allowed to shower wherever he pleased.”
“A grown male can shower alongside a teenage girl at your YMCA, here in Santee.”
Philips said she was shamed by the YMCA.
“I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong,” she said. “The indecent exposure of a male to a female minor was an inconvenience to them.”
The YMCA said in a statement: ‘We are aware of a situation involving two members in the locker room of the Santee YMCA earlier this month. The comfort and safety of all our members are our highest priority.
‘As a community-focused organization, we strive to meet the needs of all individuals. We recognize that birth and gender identity are sensitive subjects. We rely on subject matter experts, laws, and guidelines established by the State of California to ensure our policies are welcoming and respectful for all community members.’