Woman Sues Planet Fitness for Revoking Membership Over ‘Transgender’ Complaint

PFMIDLAND, Mich. — A Michigan woman whose gym membership was revoked after she complained about a man in the womens’ locker room and warned other female members about the situation has filed suit against the company for punishing her over the matter.

As previously reported, Yvette Cormier, 48, told reporters earlier this month that she walked into the womens’ locker room on March 7 only to find a man wearing makeup and a wig.

“I just stopped right there in my tracks,” she told ABC News. “It was a man for sure.”

Cormier then went to the front desk to express concern. She states that she was told that others have complained, but that the facility allows patrons to use the locker room with which they identify.

“That should be something they pointed out when I signed up,” Cormier said. “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 went back to Planet Fitness a few days later, at which time she began to warn other female club members that there was a man changing in the womens’ locker room. The next day, the corporate office of Planet Fitness called Cormier and informed her that she had violated their “no judgment” policy and that it had decided to revoke her membership.

After the matter went public, Planet Fitness spokesperson McCall Gosselin outlined in a press release that Cormeir’s membership wasn’t canceled simply because she complained, but rather because of the way that she handled the matter.

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“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 canceled,” she said in a statement.

“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a nonintimidating, welcoming environment for our members,” Gosselin continued. “Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”

The man who Cormier had discovered in the locker room later came forward, advising that he isn’t a member, and that he had used the area on a few occasions to hang his coat and purse while he visited with a friend.

On Monday, attorneys for Cormier filed suit in Midland County Circuit Court against Planet Fitness, contending that her membership was unjustly terminated.

“Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant’s gym because she objected to Defendant’s unknown policy,” a press release from Kallman Legal Group outlines. “The policy allows men who self-identify as women to use the women’s facilities, including the women’s locker room and showers.”

“Mrs. Cormier has filed this lawsuit to protect Michigan women and children and to hold Planet Fitness accountable for its irresponsible policy and actions,” it continues. “This case further illustrates the potential harm caused by adding the proposed new categories of sexual orientation/gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

The complaint alleges invasion of privacy, wrongful retaliation, Consumer Protection Act violations and breach of contract. She is seeking $25,000 in damages.


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  • Linda

    Sue the hell out of them lady. You handed it just fine. Men don’t belong in the women locker rooms. Good for you that went around and warned people. How dare they punish you over a very wrong matter. God bless you lady.

    • The Last Trump

      Absolutely! This nonsense has to stop. Trampling on the privacy and safety rights of others to pander to a few confused individuals who are in desperate need of counselling is grossly inappropriate and absolutely unnecessary.
      If they want to identify as an “it” they can change in the broom closet with the rest of the “its” or better yet, simply change in the change room with the picture on the door that most closely resembles the anatomy that they were born with.
      Enough with all the drama already. What this really all boils down to is attention. Some folks are just in desperate need of it and boy, are they getting it today! 🙁

      • thoughtsfromflorida

        What? I thought that businesses are supposed to be allowed to set whatever policy they want. I thought that everyone should just accept that some businesses believe in certain things and want to run their business according to those beliefs. I thought that people that didn’t like that were just supposed to go elsewhere. I thought that people who sued a business because the business didn’t want the client’s business because it wasn’t consistent with the beliefs of the business owners, were wrong, and intolerant, and disrespectful.

        Or does that only apply when the business owner is Christian, cites religious beliefs, and the customers are gay?

        • The Last Trump

          Wow. You got a lot of stuff wrong, huh?
          Maybe you should leave the thinking to others.
          (Just kidding of course…;)

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            What did I get wrong?

        • Angel Jabbins

          How can you even compare not getting a cake baked for a gay wedding to a woman being confronted with a man in shower room where she expected only women to be admitted? It is an unwise and unsafe policy for obvious reasons. We are seeing the death of common sense in our day.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            How is it unsafe for a man who identifies as a woman, and has no sexual desire for woman, to be in the woman’s locker room?

            From a philosophical standpoint, the situations are very similar. The business has decided how they want to operate their business. They have decided what their beliefs are regarding what is acceptable and what is not. They created a policy based upon those beliefs. This woman doesn’t like that policy so she is suing rather than just finding another gym to go to. While the situations are different, the underlying basis is the same.

          • Angel Jabbins

            Who is to say the man who identifies as a woman has no sexual desire for women?….as we know some transgender people are attracted to both sexes. Feel one way today…another way tomorrow. (And someone could be pretending to be trans just to get access to the women’s room for other more sinister purposes.) Women have a right to feel safe in a place like a bathroom or shower room. They are more vulnerable, more sensitive than men. (Could that be why we don’t hear any complaints from men about transgendermen in their bathrooms?)

            Anyway, if you can’t understand why a woman would be uncomfortable about someone who is dressed as a woman, but has genitals of a man….what can I say? If a trans-person truly wants to be a woman, then get the operation so no one can tell the difference. Then go use the women’s bathroom and no one will feel uncomfortable…all look the same, right? Encountering a transwoman with male genitalia in a shower room would be a shock to even an old married lady like myself. ha ha

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            Whose to say there aren’t lesbians in the locker room who are attracted to women?

            “Pretending to be trans….for more sinister purposes”

            Seriously? You think a man is going to dress as a woman, and identify as a woman, given all the social and personal judgement that goes along with that, just to gain access to a woman’s locker room at a gym?

            I can understand that she may be uncomfortable. As some men probably are with a gay man in a locker room. And some women are with a lesbian in a locker room. Heterosexuals seem to be under the mistaken impression that just because someone is attracted to people of the same gender, that they are attracted to everyone of the same gender. They vastly overrate themselves.

        • colt721

          The issue here regarding the woman’s case is more along the lines of, Planet Fitness happily took the ladies money, Signed a contract with her then reneged on the contract.

          As a business they CAN allow or deny whomever they wish from their facilities. BUT if, and when, they took the money and agreed to a contract they are then locked in to honoring that contract or facing court.

          Also it ought to be noted, there are many people who would not hesitate to exploit this policy to physically hurt and molest other people. The business has an obligation to protect it’s clients from being harmed while they are on the property.

          There is NO similarity between the cases you are referring to and this. None of the bakers had a contract or agreement or even been paid for services that they then denied.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “Signed a contract with her then reneged on the contract.”

            The contract includes conditions for continuation of the contract. It appears that she violated those conditions. Therefore, the business is free to void the contract.

            “there are many people who would not hesitate to exploit this policy to physically hurt and molest other people.”

            What is your basis for saying that there are “many people” who would claim to be transgender in order to gain access to the women’s locker room and then would physically hurt or molest women in the locker room?

            “There is NO similarity between the cases you are referring to and this.”

            Of course there are. The business has decided how they want to operate their business. They have decided what their beliefs are regarding what is acceptable and what is not. They created a policy based upon those beliefs. This woman doesn’t like that policy so she is suing rather than just finding another gym to go to. From a philosophical standpoint, they are very similar.

  • Maggi Fitzgibbon Escamilla

    The problem I have is that the policy wasn’t made known to anyone, not just to Cormier. If you have this policy then let’s have it large and clear for everyone to see when they sign up. That at least, gives the public the choice as to whether they want want to join under these conditions.

    • PattyJM

      It certainly was. The policy is clearly stated in the contract she signed when she signed up. Her failure to understand that is hardly the company’s fault.

      • Maggi Fitzgibbon Escamilla

        Sorry Patty, do you work for Planet Fitness? Have you signed up for membership? Curious because you seem to know absolutely. Are you using the women’s bathrooms and showers?

      • colt721

        Considering that the lawsuit specifically details that the woman did NOT know of the policy is enough to show that it was not clearly stated to her. Yes she ought to make sure to know all that is in any contract she signs. Unfortunately for us, we do not work at planet fitness we did not create the contract and we do not have accounts or memberships at Planet Fitness so we have to speculate based on information that is provided that may be lacking or faulty.

        Still, based on the evidence presented, we can surmise a few things and that is what we are working on.

        In the end it will now be up to the judge and jury to determine what she should have known and what Planet fitness should have done.

  • Sweetpea

    I hope she wins a huge amount of money from them. No man belongs in the ladies locker room.

  • webshade

    So a man, born with male parts identifying him factually as a man, thinks in his own twisted mind that he is a she? This is not normal, but self-deluded. What gets me is how many support this nonsense, like this fitness place!
    I am not a man, but a male albino gorilla!! Why? Because I say so!!

  • Paul Hiett

    As an atheist, and a staunch support of equal rights for the LGBT community, even this is beyond my tolerance. I’m sorry if you think you’re a woman, but until you actually have the surgery, until you no longer have those male parts, sorry, but you use the mens restrooms/showers, or you go home.

    • SFBruce

      I usually agree with you, but not in this particular case. First of all, as far as I know, it hasn’t been reported as to exactly where the woman in question was with respect to the transitioning process, and it’s really none of our business. I’m not an expert on the subject, but I know that the male to female transition involves living as female and beginning hormone therapy which changes secondary characteristics and would therefore make a person transitioning to female both uncomfortable and out of place in the men’s locker room. Of course, I recognize this is controversial, but I like Planet Fitness’ policy.

      • Paul Hiett

        Unfortunately, this opens up a door for men using a loophole to get their rocks off walking around a woman’s locker room. I think it’s to hard for us, as men, to understand how a woman might feel about this. Men rarely get raped, groped, or assaulted, so we have this false sense of security in our daily lives, and in places like locker rooms/bathrooms.

        I think women should feel safe, especially for minors who might be using those facilities as well. Allowing men dressed as women into those facilities completely violates the trust and overall sense of safety women might have. We don’t ever have to worry about that, so we tend to take it for granted.

        I think there’s a better solution out there, personally. However, until that solution is found, I simply cannot condone men using women’s restrooms and locker rooms.

        • PattyJM

          Your objection involves a scary but imaginary possibility.

          Laws permitting trans people access to facilities matching their gender identity have been in effect for many years. All across the country. They are in effect in 18 states and over two hundred cities and other jurisdictions. Minneapolis passed theirs in 1995.

          The things they predict just _do not happen-. Seriously. If there were a case of a man pretending to be transgender just to peek (or worse) I have not been able to find it.

          Besides, if a man wanted to go into women-only space he would just walk in and do it. No subterfuge needed.

          P.S. A trans woman is not a man.

          • Maggi Fitzgibbon Escamilla

            Not really a female either. Difficulty for all concerned. There is, whether you like it or not, a safety concern. A good solution should meet that requirement. Can’t just go on a “I promise not to..”

          • Parque_Hundido

            What, exactly, is the “safety concern”? That someone will become hysterical and hyperventilate?

          • http://batman-news.com disqus_1LPVEpDdC8

            website: dailykos.com

            British Man Who Pretended To Be Gay To Win Women’s Trust Sentenced For Raping Them

    • Nick_from_Detroit

      As an atheist? I thought that atheism was an absence of belief, only, Mr. Hiett? How can you now base your so-called tolerance, in part, on your atheism?

    • Angel Jabbins

      Excellent comment and my feelings exactly.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      As a Christian, I commend your intellectual honesty, Paul.

  • RWH

    Perhaps the lady should have read the contract when she signed on. If she didn’t like the terms, she should not have joined. If the language is in the contract, isn’t this lady afraid that she herself could be sued if she created a hostile environment where the other person could be seriously hurt? After all, she stirred up a hornet’s nest over this both within the gym and in the media. There is a report out there that says that this “man” was actually a woman, and this woman actually came forward. This lady certainly has the right to sue, but she had better make very well sure that this person was actually a man.

    • colt721

      From the article… ”

      As previously reported, Yvette
      Cormier, 48, told reporters earlier this month that she walked into the
      womens’ locker room on March 7 only to find a man wearing makeup and a
      wig.

      “I just stopped right there in my tracks,” she told ABC News. “It was a man for sure.”

      AND

      “The man who Cormier had discovered in the locker room later came
      forward, advising that he isn’t a member, and that he had used the area
      on a few occasions to hang his coat and purse while he visited with a
      friend.”

      • RWH

        Well, this lady walked into the room, and if she were completely honest, she would have to say that she saw an individual whom she THOUGHT was a man. She doesn’t know for certain. There are a number of women out there that are very mannish in their appearance, but they are still women. A lot of women wear wigs. Whatever the case, the lady can sue if she wishes, but she will be run through the wringer. If Planet Fitness can produce a contract that states its policy clearly and get expert witnesses from the medical community, they will make this lady look like the hateful person that she she really is–one that loves to run around spreading slandar and gossip.
        We have all run into this type. They love to stir up trouble based on unsupported accusations, and they have no trouble whatsoever ruining other people’s reputations in the process. There are a lot of vicious people out there. I’m not saying that she was wrong, but she had the proper channels to go through, and spreading all sorts of stuff around the club is not the way to do it, especially if she is trying to ruin the business. What is more serious is the damage she could have done if she were wrong in her assessment.

  • PattyJM

    Baloney!
    Can you think of a business which would allow a dissatisfied customer to come back day after day to approach other customers in an attempt to have them choose a competitor?
    Not just that but to do this for four days running?

    I can’t either but that is just what Ms Cormier did. Her membership was not cancelled for objecting to the club’s policy but for acting like a disruptive jackass.

    • colt721

      O.K. I will buy that argument. it seems valid enough to me… On the other hand As a member she ought to have had more rights within planet fitness than the Transgendered man who admitted that s/he was NOT a member but was visiting someone.

  • Ron Duncan

    They violate their own policy by judging her values. If it’s a “judgement free zone,” then her views are just as valid as theirs.

  • thoughtsfromflorida

    Somebody’s got too much time on their hands.

  • Elat

    good. This is simply astounding. A man can just say he’s a woman and go into the women’s locker room. How about planet fitness’ zero tolerance towards everyone who objects to this? And for VERY serious reasons. The world has gone mad.

  • Jenni Contrisciani

    Transgender people can look very much like the gender they identify with. I would pose the question, is it better for a transgender woman with long hair and makeup and wearing a skirt to be in the women’s room or in the men’s room? Would it be better if a transgender man with a full beard and manly physique to use the women’s room or the men’s? People should also realize that it is very difficult to transition and that people will not cross dress on a whim just to enter a ladies locker room. If they do, they’ll be spotted for the perves they are very quickly. Planet Fitness is very brave in adopting this policy and supporting transgender rights. In the same way people were uncomfortable with blacks at the lunch counter or in their public pools, society will come to understand the transgender issue. That said, it is also incumbent upon transgender individuals to be respectful of people’s privacy and be discreet. People aren’t used to transgender people quite yet and an understanding and educational attitude on the part of transgender people will go a long way in promoting acceptance. As an aside, transgender people are also Christians and ask God for help in dealing with their unique physiological and psychological issues. In the same way that Jesus accepted people- the poor, prostitutes, thieves, etc. it shouldn’t be hard for Christians to accept transgender people who mostly lead upright lives like most people.

  • Thomas Cervantes

    Her actions dictated her result. Had she simply confronted the man directly an asked for his absence while women were present im sure he would have consented. I do not work for planet fitness, im simply human who remembers what it is like to feel a certain way while all the time being told it’s wrong. Defend all humans, not just the ones in your niche.

  • roccolore

    She should have sued for more than $25,000. But Planet Fitness will likely settle to avoid an expensive legal fight.

  • Parque_Hundido

    She will lose this suit.

  • jmichael39

    Sorry, my brothers and sisters. If I were a woman, I wouldn’t want to see male genitalia in my locker/rest rooms. But that’s their policy. I wish Christian business owners were as free to set their policies relative to gay/transgender issues. But these owners are free to set their policies. If you don’t like it, either don’t go there anymore or at least don’t use the locker room or restrooms. I personally, if I were a woman, wouldn’t attend there. The only way to make businesses take notice of your protests is if it effects their bottom line.

  • Anita Perry

    “The things they predict just _do not happen-. Seriously. If there were a case of a man pretending to be transgender just to peek (or worse) I have not been able to find it.”

    They know this isn’t true, but they will continue to stick to their standard trans talking points time and time again. Google Christopher, “Jessica”, Hambrook. He identified as transgender just long enough to gain access to two different women’s shelters where he sexually assaulted homeless women. How would a sexual predator gain access to women’s shelters? He called himself “Jessica” and said he was transgender. It’s a fact that males dressed as women have been convicted of committing crimes in women’s restrooms and locker rooms. There are too many examples to list here.

    A couple of months ago, a man wearing a stolen pink Barbie outfit terrorized a woman in a Big Lots women’s restroom.

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Tutu-Clad-Assault-Suspect-Suffers-Tranvestic-Fetishism-Attorney-Gregory-Schwartz-Big-Lots–288752051.html
    He recently was convicted of false imprisonment and assault.

    In 2013, Jason Pomare victimized women in Los Angeles. He donned bra, wig and female clothing to gain access to a women’s bathroom at a Los Angeles Macy’s Department Store so he could secretly video-record the women and girls inside. He had a video camera in a bag, which he slid underneath stalls in order to secretly video-record women and girls as they were using the toilet. When he was caught, he had hours of video of women and girls he recorded by pointing his camera under restroom stalls.

    In 2013, Rodney Kenneth Petersen was arrested for dressing as a woman to enter a woman’s dormitory and take pictures of the coeds at Loma Linda University in California. An investigation revealed that Peterson had previously dressed as a woman and entered other female- only facilities, trying to take photos of women and girls
    with a cell phone he had hidden in his purse.

    In 2012, Taylor J. Buehler was arrested in Everett, Washington for voyeurism. He donned a bra and wig to appear as a woman so he could go into the women’s bathroom at Everett Community College. Once inside the bathroom, he began
    leering at the two women who were using the facilities. After his arrest, he
    admitted that he had previously taken a shower in a girls’ locker room for
    “sexual gratification.” Buehler was convicted of voyeurism.

    In 2011, Joel Hardman, a postgraduate student at the University of Birmingham in England, disguised himself with a women’s rubber mask and wig in order to gain access to women’s restrooms, where he spied on women using the toilets. After being arrested, he explained that he got sexual gratification from listening to women using
    toilets. While in the bathrooms, he not only listened—he also made audio
    recordings of the women urinating.

  • Greg Paley

    Why are we letting the flakiest, fruitiest members of society bend us to their will? We don’t let children drive, we don’t let mental patients run the sanitariums. The country looks like something Lewis Carroll would have invented.