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YMCA pool bans 80-year-old woman after she demands transgender staff member leave locker room where little girls are undressing
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YMCA pool bans 80-year-old woman after she demands transgender staff member leave locker room where little girls are undressing

An 80-year-old Washington state woman has reportedly been banned from her local YMCA after she expressed extreme discomfort when a transgender staff member entered the women's locker room while young girls were undressing.

Julie Jaman, a resident of Port Townsend, Washington, told the Port Townsend Free Press that she was asked to leave the YMCA facilities at Mountain View pool after she demanded that a male wearing a female bathing suit be removed from the women's locker room, where she had been showering and a group of girls were changing out of their swimwear. A YMCA employee reportedly told Jaman she was discriminating against the transgender individual and threatened to call the police on her. In response, Jaman promptly left and filed her own complaint with the police department.

The incident occurred on July 26, when Jaman says she was swimming at Mountain View Pool, as was her weekly habit for 35 years. While showering after her weekly swim, Jaman said she heard a man's voice. Peering past the shower curtain, Jaman says she saw a male wearing a female bathing suit in the women's locker room "looking at the little girls as they were taking off their suits."

This person was identified by the Free Press as Clementine Adams, a YMCA staff member who identifies as transgender and female. Jaman said Adams was not wearing any staff identification at the time.

"There were gaps in the curtain and there I was, naked, with soap and water on me, and this guy, right there, very close to me," Jaman said. "I asked, ‘Do you have a penis?’ He said, ‘That’s none of your business.’ That’s when I told him, ‘Get out of here, right now.’”

YMCA aquatic instructor Rowen DeLuna was also present in the locker room. Jaman reportedly approached DeLuna and demanded that Adams be removed from the locker room. Instead, DeLuna told Jaman, "You're discriminating and you can't use the pool anymore and I'm calling the police," according to Jaman.

Stunned, Jaman dried herself, dressed, and prepared to leave. As she was at the door, DeLuna reportedly told her she was not abiding by the YMCA's principles and values. DeLuna and another YMCA employee also reportedly told her she could not leave.

"Bulls**t! I’m going to the police right now. I want help and I need it immediately,” Jaman told the YMCA staff members.

Police records reported by the Free Press confirm that both Jaman and a YMCA employee contacted the department about the incident.

A call report from Officer Marc Titterness said that Jaman "had an emotional response to a strange male being in the bathroom and helping a young girl take off her bathing suit."

The report also said an anonymous YMCA employee told police, "Clementine was in the bathroom with a child in the day camp and Julie asked if she had a penis and started screaming at her to get out."

In another call obtained by the Free Press, the YMCA employee said that "Julie" has "been asked to leave and is refusing."

A third call by the YMCA employee alleged that Jaman "was screaming at employee and calling names and refusing to leave."

After the incident, Jaman reportedly spoke with Wendy Bart, the CEO of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, who gave a conflicting account of what happened.

Bart stood by the actions of her staff, including banning Jaman from the pool. Bart also said a staff member told her that Jaman had directed vulgar language at Adams, saying, "You’re going to stick your f***ing penis in those little girls."

Jaman vigorously denies she said anything of the kind. "I am an 80-year-old woman and I do not talk like that," she told the Substack "The Distance."

No charges have been filed against Jaman, who since the incident has been protesting YMCA locker room and bathroom policies.

In public comments to the Port Townsend City Council on Aug. 1, Jaman said that "women and children are being put at risk" by the "neo-cultural gender rules" at the YMCA.

In written comments, she said, "The YMCA policies on gender identity use 'pride' as a euphemism to prevent discrimination against one group of people but at the expense of another group — women who don’t want to use all-gender bathing/dressing areas. Although the Y does check to see if pool patrons have been convicted of sex crimes, there is danger in how the Olympic Y is furthering this policy of nondiscrimination, the potential of undignified/illegal behavior for lack of separate facilities. The policy fails to be inclusive at Mt View pool — women are now at risk of unwanted exposure to the opposite sex — object and you will no longer be allowed to use the pool. Is this how the Y intends to secure the safety and dignity of all its patrons — a YMCA principle?"

She suggested that the YMCA should provide an all-gender changing area in addition to gender-segregated changing facilities to accommodate everyone who wants to use the pool.

"The YMCA should immediately post clear signage indicating the existing dressing/shower rooms will be used by the opposite sex who gender identify differently. Also, all parents who send their children to YMCA programs should be informed that men who identify as women are allowed to accompany little girls into the dressing and bathroom areas," she wrote.

However, Council Member Libby Urner Wennstrom responded by calling on the City Council to "take a stand against hate speech and discrimination against transgender people and to formally support the Y and its staff in their efforts to ensure everyone feels welcome to use our public pool."

Council Member Aislinn Diamanti then apologized "to all trans people" who had to listen to Jaman and other members of the public who used the wrong pronouns in their comments.

"Just to participate in this public meeting they had to sit through that and that made me really sad," Diamanti said. Mayor David Faber added that as the chairman of the meeting, he wanted to "err on the side of open discussion, but that was getting very close to really stepping over the line for me."

The Olympic Peninsula YMCA also responded in an Aug. 1 statement affirming the organization's commitment to being "inclusive."

"We will not tolerate bias, hatred, or discrimination that leads to the oppression of individuals or communities. We will ensure sustained and meaningful progress toward equity and human dignity for all," the YMCA said.

The YMCA cited Washington state law that guarantees the right of transgender people to use gender-segregated facilities according to their self-declared gender identity, including restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and homeless or emergency shelters.

"The Y will uphold and respect this law in regards to YMCA staff, members, and program participants that use Mountain View Pool. At the Y, our goal is to provide an atmosphere free from discrimination, hatred, derogatory or unwelcome comments, intimidation, or actions based on an individual’s sex, age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other legally protected status," the statement read.

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