SEATTLE, Wash. — Concerns are being raised after a man who did not identify as “transgender” recently used the women’s locker room to change his clothes in front of women and young girls.
According to reports, the incident occurred on Feb. 8 as the man visited Evans Pool in Seattle, which is open to the general public.
Seattle Parks and Recreation told reporters this week that the individual was wearing men’s clothing and never claimed that he thought of himself as being a woman.
“This didn’t seem like a transgender issue to staff—someone who was ‘identifying’ as a woman,” Communications Manager David Takami said in a statement. “We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.”
Staff were alerted after some of the women and parents present saw the man enter the locker room and take off his shirt.
“Seeing this individual in the locker room, parents of swim team members (girls) and women who had paid for lap swim became alarmed and alerted our front desk staff,” Takami explained. “In response, an Evans Pool staff member entered the women’s locker room and asked the man to leave and offered the availability of a family changing room.”
The man complied, but after he finished swimming, he again attempted to use the locker room with the women and girls.
“After the lap swim, he again entered the women’s locker room to change. Front desk staff again asked him to leave and he eventually did,” Takami said.
Reports state that some of the women present initially told the man to leave before they contacted the front desk, but he replied by stating, “The law has changed and I have the right to be here.”
As previously reported, the Washington Human Rights Commission issued statewide rules in December requiring that public facilities allow males who identify as female and vice versa be allowed to use the restroom that is consistent with their “gender identity.”
“All covered entities, except school districts or other primary and secondary schools, shall allow individuals the use of gender-segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and homeless shelters, that are consistent with that individual’s gender identity,” one of the rules reads, which was to serve as a clarification to the Anderson-Murray Anti-Discrimination Law of 2006.
The regulations also state that if a person is uncomfortable with having a member of the opposite sex in the room with them, it is the person expressing discomfort who should be moved to a different restroom or locker room.
“If another person expresses concern or discomfort about a person who uses a facility that is consistent with the person’s gender identity, the person expressing discomfort should be directed to a separate or gender neutral facility, if available,” the section on “gender-segregated facilities” outlines.
As the police were not called regarding the incident at Evans Pool, there has been no further information released regarding the individual or his motives.
On the same day of the incident, in Olympia, those opposed to the new rules protested outside of the Washington State Capitol building out of their concern for the safety of women and children.
“I think it’s completely outrageous to allow mixed sex nudity in locker rooms,” Jill Wade of Spanaway told KING 5 News.
The Washington Senate considered a bill on Feb. 10 that would have repealed the rule, but it failed by a single vote.