This Transgender Business Again!

By Diane Frank

Iím not going to start my usual railing against labels again. Mostly I try to explain why labels hurt the people they are applied to. But in other cases, people may use labels as a reason for doing things that common sense would suggest that they question. Hereís an article by a woman who was on the receiving end of this, plus some of the comments her article provoked. What do you think?

From :

(This is a self-proclaimed conservative online watchdog aimed at the "liberal" San Francisco Chronicle. There is no re-publication restriction in their copyright notice)

Transgenders at Curves? Get Used to It, Ladies

Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell

Friday, May 28, 2004

Editor's Note: Curves International wrote to clarify their gender policy and included the following statement:

Curves International does not attempt to interpret state and local laws regarding gender inclusion or exclusion in membership facilities. Our franchises are 100% independently owned and operated, and as such, franchise owners must make membership decisions based on gender that are consistent with their state and local laws.


Curves, the Texas-based fitness franchise that has been popping up all over the country, was in the headlines recently because of the pro-life beliefs of its owner Gary Heavin. The usual suspects were calling for blood because Heavin dared to give his own money to organizations that do not perform or promote abortions. Ruth Rosen and Jon Carroll of the Chronicle both produced hysterically inaccurate columns on the subject, which eventually led to an embarrassing correction on the part of the newspaper. But it is an entirely different matter that makes Curves the subject of todayís column.

I joined one of the Curves in San Francisco several months ago and have been happily working out and losing pounds ever since. I was attracted to the Curves concept, which includes an all-female environment. At least thatís what I thought until I went in to work out last week and a man popped up on the machine next to me. He was wearing a skirt-like item over his workout pants and had the look (which Iíve become all too familiar with living in this city) of a wannabe female. But for all intents and purposes, this was a guy. And when he changed back into his regular clothes (in the dressing room shared by women), he looked like any other man on the street.

The owner quietly assured me that he was a '' transvestite,'' as if that would explain everything. It didnít. Apparently, I wasnít alone in my confusion, because other women starting asking questions as soon as ''he'' left. After telling us that he usually attends another Curves and was just visiting for the day, the owner added that, ''he doesnít want to make any of the women uncomfortable.'' To which, I piped up that he did indeed make me ''uncomfortable.'' No doubt shaken by my audacity in bucking the ''transgender'' orthodoxy of San Francisco, the owner looked surprised. But I pursued the matter and came away with some interesting information.

According to the owner, it seems that Curves does not have an all-female membership, as I had formerly believed. Not in California anyway. Due to several lawsuits that ensued soon after Curves came to the golden state, Curves franchises in California were forced to make their membership all-inclusive. Before last week, I, and no doubt most of the other female members, were unaware of this policy and had we known, itís safe to say that it might have affected our decision to sign-up.

I decided to write to Curves International about their overall gender policy and I received a prompt response. It seems that while Curves is ''especially designed for women,'' they do not ''discriminate against men.'' So, although women are the main customers at Curves, men are also welcome. And those who are somewhere in between can come on down as well. Itís one big happy family.

This scenario sheds light on an often overlooked aspect of ''transgender rights''--womenís rights. That is, if real women have any rights anymore? For instance, itís apparently okay for transgenders to use the womenís bathroom, changing room, locker room, and so on, but itís not okay for women to complain about it. If they do, theyíll automatically be labeled ''hateful'' and ''intolerant.'' Of course, transgendersí intolerance for the 99.99% of us that subscribe to the old-fashioned concept of gender, is perfectly acceptable, but weíre all supposed to recognize their sexual dysfunction as normal. And donít even get me started on the ridiculous pronoun pandering that comes with the territory. If the transgender in question still has a you-know-what, then as far as Iím concerned, heís a ''he.'' Enough said.

But discrimination against women masked as protection for transgenders is not only the rule of thumb in San Francisco, itís the rule of law. According to the City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission, any resistance to transgender activity is labeled ''gender identity discrimination.'' This includes of course, ''the right to use the bathroom/restroom that is consistent with and appropriate to their gender identity.'' So in other words, all a guy has to do is put on dress and a little lipstick and he can walk right into a womenís bathroom for an eyeful, and claim ''gender identity discrimination'' if anyone complains. Memo to men: peepshow time!

Although I can only speak for myself, I think I can say with certainty that most women do not want to share a bathroom, locker room, and especially what they thought was an all-female gym, with a man--whatever his ''gender identity.'' But it seems that us plain-old females have no rights, because transgenders and their view of womanhood take precedence. Forget girlhood, puberty, pregnancy, or motherhood, when it comes to transgenders, itís the clothes, shoes, and makeup that make a woman.


I guess what I wonder about in all this is how the labels get slung around justifying or attacking behavior. Personally, I find it more than odd to contemplate someone transforming in a womenís locker room. This could be a case of someone appropriating the label "trangender" for themselves, and then going ahead heedless of the consequences. This also reminds me of a local case where two people barged into the ladies room at a Dennies late at night, and when challenged on this, proclaimed themselves to be transsexuals. Last word on one of them is that heís married and the papa of a bouncing baby. For me, it comes down to this: If some women in some circumstances see one of us as a woman, and invite us in to womenís space, thatís one thing. To proclaim, insist and invade thatís another

Here are the comments this article provoked.