YMCA Committed to Non-Discrimination

On Monday, December 21, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties heralded in a progressive change to their locker room and restroom policies by not discriminating use based on gender identity.  Any individual may use the locker room or restroom of the gender they identify with, and not whether the letter F or M is stamped on their Driver’s License, or Female or Male appears on their Certificate of Birth.

Michelle LaRue, a spokesperson for the YMCA, said they were amending their policy both for political correctness and because it was the correct move to make.

“We are deeply sorry for the missteps that we took,” she said. “We made some mistakes through lack of communication and lack of process.”

Notably, there is also a cross-section of the transgender community whom neither had GRS surgery(referred to as being in transition); nor those whom desire to.  There are also individuals identifying as non-binary who identify as neither masculine nor feminine.

YMCA-Inclusion-1Some members raised concerns about adolescents being exposed to individuals not visibly representative of the gender they present as.  This concern prompted some members to cancel their membership, while others are making decisions to accompany their children into the locker room with them.

Bob Ecklund, President and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, issued a statement they will not discriminate against race, age, gender identity, faith, among a litany of other inclusions.  Recognizing concerns with locker room and other facility privacies, they will be investing a reported $1 million dollars to enhance member privacy.

“We will serve all – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity –  and we want anyone who comes to us to feel welcomed and included.”

YMCA’s policy motivates positive change, for those of us not fitting into the narrow slice of “social normative,” toward full acceptance.

mir, irini, peace, amn,