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Naked man at Santee YMCA produces litmus test

Will Nathan Fletcher trans cheerleading endure?

Cameron Family YMCA
Cameron Family YMCA

On January 11 Rebecca Phillips told the Santee City Council about an experience she had two weeks prior at Santee’s Cameron Family YMCA on Riverwalk Drive.

When she walked out of the shower, she said she encountered a naked male in the female locker room.

The 17-year-old said, “I immediately went back into the shower and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.” She said when she reported the incident to management, “They confirmed the man I saw was allowed to shower wherever he pleased, as long as you are not a red flag on Megan’s Law, the California sex offender registry.”

Phillips continued, “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.” She said YMCA management victim-shamed her for complaining about indecent exposure and told her she was safe with the naked male.

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After Phillips’ comments made national and international news, Christynne Lili Wrene Wood, formerly Christopher Wallace Wood, claimed to be the person at the center of the controversy. Wood told ABC10 News, “It’s important they finally get to hear the truth and they finally get to put a face on this scary transgender woman who was misgendered.” San Diego County court records show Wood got a legal gender and name change on February 24, 2017.

In 2018 Wood sued Crunch Fitness of El Cajon with the help of the ACLU, alleging sex discrimination under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. In 2011 the law was amended by AB 887 to add “gender identity and gender expression” to the definition of sex.

According to the lawsuit, when Wood presented evidence of the legal gender change in February 2017, a Crunch staff member asked if Wood underwent sex reassignment surgery. Wood said no and was therefore denied access to the female locker room. But Crunch staff gave Wood access to the female locker room in September 2017 after an anti-gay slur was allegedly used against Wood in the male locker room. Wood sued Crunch in May 2018 and was awarded an undisclosed settlement in 2021.

In a Facebook post last year, Wood attacked Emma Weyant, the female college swimmer Florida governor Ron DeSantis declared the rightful winner after she lost the NCAA championship to Lia Thomas, a male who identifies as a woman. Wood called Weyant and her fellow swimmers “COWARDLY TERFS” for complaining it’s unfair to force them to compete against a male. (Terf is used by trans activists against women who object to transgender infringement on women’s rights.)

Over the phone, Santee Vice Mayor Laura Koval told me, “The bar for protecting children should be set much higher than the sex offender registry. All women know that at some point in our lives we have felt threatened by a male. There should be a safe space for us to shower and get dressed. As a woman I would be uncomfortable around males in that space, but I am very uncomfortable having them around girls.”

Koval added, “A male who identifies as a woman might also feel uncomfortable and unsafe in a men’s facility. We need to find a solution for them. We love the YMCA in Santee, but this needs to be fixed.”

The YMCA stated in a press release, “Our YMCA operates in accordance with California law which gives people the right to access the locker rooms, changing rooms, and bathrooms that align with their gender identity.”

On Wednesday, January 18, hundreds of people rallied outside the Santee YMCA to hear elected officials from Santee, Lakeside and El Cajon speak for women’s and girls’ rights. Earlier that day, Santee School District suspended classroom-based trips to the Y. Times of San Diego reporter Ken Stone and KPBS reporter Andrew Dyer called these actions “trans panic.” A few dozen counterprotestors rallied to support the Y’s policy.

I polled a Santee community group on Facebook and 100 percent of 38 respondents objected to the Y’s policy. In every social media poll I posted, more than 90 percent of respondents objected. The entire Santee city council expressed opposition.

After San Diego County supervisors Nora Vargas, Nathan Fletcher and Terra Lawson-Remer voted to redefine women last year, Fletcher ridiculed people who say treating transgender people “equally or fairly” would “diminish” the rights of women and girls. “It won’t and it hasn’t. And it never will…A year from now we can come back here and none of this stuff we’ve heard about will come to fruition.”

California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones, who represents Santee, says, “In 2011, I voted against the law that prohibits exercise and recreational businesses from being able to protect minors from instances of poor judgement or malicious actions by adults in locker rooms. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the consequences of Sacramento Democrat politicians’ far-left policies. Everyone should feel comfortable in a locker room — particularly young minors. It’s unacceptable that an adult was allowed to expose theirself to a minor, and then the minor was ridiculed for expressing discomfort.”

Michael Botello, communications director for county supervisor Joel Anderson, said Anderson was unable to comment but made sure to let me know his pronouns are he/him/his.

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Cameron Family YMCA
Cameron Family YMCA

On January 11 Rebecca Phillips told the Santee City Council about an experience she had two weeks prior at Santee’s Cameron Family YMCA on Riverwalk Drive.

When she walked out of the shower, she said she encountered a naked male in the female locker room.

The 17-year-old said, “I immediately went back into the shower and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.” She said when she reported the incident to management, “They confirmed the man I saw was allowed to shower wherever he pleased, as long as you are not a red flag on Megan’s Law, the California sex offender registry.”

Phillips continued, “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.” She said YMCA management victim-shamed her for complaining about indecent exposure and told her she was safe with the naked male.

Sponsored
Sponsored

After Phillips’ comments made national and international news, Christynne Lili Wrene Wood, formerly Christopher Wallace Wood, claimed to be the person at the center of the controversy. Wood told ABC10 News, “It’s important they finally get to hear the truth and they finally get to put a face on this scary transgender woman who was misgendered.” San Diego County court records show Wood got a legal gender and name change on February 24, 2017.

In 2018 Wood sued Crunch Fitness of El Cajon with the help of the ACLU, alleging sex discrimination under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. In 2011 the law was amended by AB 887 to add “gender identity and gender expression” to the definition of sex.

According to the lawsuit, when Wood presented evidence of the legal gender change in February 2017, a Crunch staff member asked if Wood underwent sex reassignment surgery. Wood said no and was therefore denied access to the female locker room. But Crunch staff gave Wood access to the female locker room in September 2017 after an anti-gay slur was allegedly used against Wood in the male locker room. Wood sued Crunch in May 2018 and was awarded an undisclosed settlement in 2021.

In a Facebook post last year, Wood attacked Emma Weyant, the female college swimmer Florida governor Ron DeSantis declared the rightful winner after she lost the NCAA championship to Lia Thomas, a male who identifies as a woman. Wood called Weyant and her fellow swimmers “COWARDLY TERFS” for complaining it’s unfair to force them to compete against a male. (Terf is used by trans activists against women who object to transgender infringement on women’s rights.)

Over the phone, Santee Vice Mayor Laura Koval told me, “The bar for protecting children should be set much higher than the sex offender registry. All women know that at some point in our lives we have felt threatened by a male. There should be a safe space for us to shower and get dressed. As a woman I would be uncomfortable around males in that space, but I am very uncomfortable having them around girls.”

Koval added, “A male who identifies as a woman might also feel uncomfortable and unsafe in a men’s facility. We need to find a solution for them. We love the YMCA in Santee, but this needs to be fixed.”

The YMCA stated in a press release, “Our YMCA operates in accordance with California law which gives people the right to access the locker rooms, changing rooms, and bathrooms that align with their gender identity.”

On Wednesday, January 18, hundreds of people rallied outside the Santee YMCA to hear elected officials from Santee, Lakeside and El Cajon speak for women’s and girls’ rights. Earlier that day, Santee School District suspended classroom-based trips to the Y. Times of San Diego reporter Ken Stone and KPBS reporter Andrew Dyer called these actions “trans panic.” A few dozen counterprotestors rallied to support the Y’s policy.

I polled a Santee community group on Facebook and 100 percent of 38 respondents objected to the Y’s policy. In every social media poll I posted, more than 90 percent of respondents objected. The entire Santee city council expressed opposition.

After San Diego County supervisors Nora Vargas, Nathan Fletcher and Terra Lawson-Remer voted to redefine women last year, Fletcher ridiculed people who say treating transgender people “equally or fairly” would “diminish” the rights of women and girls. “It won’t and it hasn’t. And it never will…A year from now we can come back here and none of this stuff we’ve heard about will come to fruition.”

California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones, who represents Santee, says, “In 2011, I voted against the law that prohibits exercise and recreational businesses from being able to protect minors from instances of poor judgement or malicious actions by adults in locker rooms. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the consequences of Sacramento Democrat politicians’ far-left policies. Everyone should feel comfortable in a locker room — particularly young minors. It’s unacceptable that an adult was allowed to expose theirself to a minor, and then the minor was ridiculed for expressing discomfort.”

Michael Botello, communications director for county supervisor Joel Anderson, said Anderson was unable to comment but made sure to let me know his pronouns are he/him/his.

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