MIDLAND, MI -- A Midland County woman's gym membership was canceled after she refused to stop telling fellow gym members "a man" was using the woman's locker room.
Yvette Cormier said the incident occurred Saturday, Feb. 28, when she entered the women's locker room at the Planet Fitness location at 701 Joe Mann Boulevard in Midland.
"I was blocked, because a man was standing there," Cormier said. "It freaked me out because, why is a man in here?"
Cormier said an employee at the front desk told her that the individual identifies as a woman.
After taking her complaints to Planet Fitness' corporate office, Cormier said she was told that the gym was a "no judgement zone" and they would not tell the individual in question to stay out of the women's locker room. The person has not been identified.
The slogan "Judgement Free Zone" is regularly used by Planet Fitness.
A statement released by McCall Gosselin, public relations director for Planet Fitness, states that members can use the locker room corresponding with their personal gender identity.
Cormier disagrees with the policy and feels it's a safety issue.
According to Cormier, she returned to the gym each day between Monday and Thursday. While there, Cormier said she told women in the locker room about the individual she observed in the bathroom the weekend before.
Cormier said she then got a call from Planet Fitness' corporate office telling her that she was violating their "no judgement" policy. She says they asked if she was going to stop talking to other women in the locker room and she said she would not.
Cormier said the representative told her she was no longer welcome at the gym.
The statement released by Gosselin confirms that Cormier's actions led to the cancellation of her membership, though the statement does not go into details of the situation.
Here is a look at the statement, in full:
"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."
"I feel it's kind of one sided," Cormier said about the policy. "I feel like I am the one who is being punished."
She feels Planet Fitness could provide a third locker room for transgender people.
The women's locker room offers private changing stalls and includes bathroom stalls with doors.
According to Alison Gill, senior legislative council for the Human Rights Campaign, the gym is within its rights to create a policy that welcomes members to use the locker room corresponding with their gender identity.
"They have that right," she said.
-- Jessica Shepherd is a reporter with MLive/The Saginaw News. Contact her at 989-996-0687, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.