When a Seattle pool’s staff was alerted to a man changing in the women’s locker room, there was nothing they could thanks to the city’s new gender rule.
The staff also claimed that the man did not seem to be transgender.
As King5 reported:
It was a busy time at Evans Pool around 5:30pm Monday February 8. The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”
“Really bizarre,” MaryAnne Sato said. “I can’t imagine why they would want to do that anyway!”
Sato uses the locker room a few times a week, but she says this is a first for her. It’s also a first for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Employees report that the man made no verbal or physical attempt to identify as a woman, yet he still cited a new rule that allows bathroom choice based on gender identification.
King5 reported that the police were not called and no one was arrested during the incident. The man returned to the locker room again as young girls changed for a swim practice.
“Sort of works against the point they’re trying to make. They’re causing people to feel exposed and vulnerable with the intention of reducing people feeling exposed and vulnerable,” Aldan Shank, a pool attendee, told King5.
Seattle Parks and Recreation spokesman said officials are still working on the specifics of how to regulate the new rule. There is not protocol in place for how a person should demonstration their gender in order to use the bathroom or locker room of their choosing, David Takami said, adding that currently employees have just relied on either physical appearance or verbal identification.
However, the man apparently did not demonstrate either.
“This didn’t seem like a transgender issue to staff – someone who was ‘identifying’ as a woman,’ Takami said in a statement to King5. “We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. We want everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities.”
Read more about the incident at King5 here.