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Tipsheet

Trans Woman Disputes Teen’s Graphic YMCA Locker Room Story

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A biological male who identifies as a transgender woman claimed that a woman’s claims that she saw his male genitalia in a women’s locker room at YMCA is untrue because he had irreversible sex reassignment surgery.

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Rebecca Philips, 17, claimed in a now-viral video that she was changing her clothes after swimming last month at a YMCA in Santee, California when she saw a naked transgender person in the changing room. 

“As I was showering after my workout, I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room,” Philips said in remarks to the Santee City Council. “I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.”

Phillips added that during the summer months, she brings her 5-year-old sister to the gym. 

“This is the YMCA where hundreds of children spend their summer afternoons in childcare camps. This is the YMCA where my little sister took gymnastics lessons. The locker room is supposed to be her safe haven to gossip with her friends and shower and change,” she continued. 

“When I asked the YMCA what their policy was regarding transgenders, they confirmed that the man that I saw was indeed allowed to shower wherever he pleased,” she said. 

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Philips’ remarks sparked protests, forcing the YMCA to close for several days.

According to the New York Post, Philip’s story circulated, including a detail that she saw male genitalia in the women’s locker room. But, the transgender person, Christynne Wood, said that Philips did not because he has undergone sex reassignment surgery.

“Wood said Philips saw no male genitalia — as many outlets wrongly surmised — because she’s had gender confirmation surgery,” the Times of San Diego reported.

“I don’t know what’s in the mind of that child [Philips],” Wood told the outlet.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wood, 66, was “thunderstruck” by Philips’ remarks at the meeting and the public’s reaction. Wood learned of the viral video when a friend called to “[offer] her support” about the video. 

“I went, ‘what video?’” Wood said. “I watched it and just started crying.” 

Wood did not recall seeing Philips. “That person never, ever, ever interacted with me.”

Previously, Wood sued another gym for refusing to let him use the women’s facilities. As of December 2021, Wood had not undergone surgery.

Last year, Matt covered how female members of the UPenn women’s swim team spoke out anonymously about sharing a locker room with Will “Lia Thomas,” who is a biological male. Once Thomas began identifying as a woman, the girls were forced to share a locker room with him.  An anonymous swimmer told Daily Mail that Thomas “still has male body parts and is still attracted to women.” The swimmer added that other members of the team spoke to the team’s coaches about the issue, but the discussions did not go anywhere.

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“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” the anonymous swimmer told Daily Mail. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

A swimmer’s father who spoke with the Washington Examiner stated that “Penn told any female swimmers who had issues to essentially ‘get over it,’” adding that “they can’t ostracize Lia.”

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