QUEER VOICES
10/30/2013 03:49 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Yanel Valenzuela, Transgender Woman, Allegedly Barred From LA Fitness Locker Room

Popular health club LA fitness is coming under fire after allegedly telling a transgender woman that she is no longer allowed to use the women's locker room at her local facility.

Yanel Valenzuela told reporters that the manager at a Montclair, Calif., branch of the establishment allegedly requested she no longer use the women's locker room. The incident reportedly occurred after Valenzuela shared her personal transition story with an employee in an effort to seek workout advice catered to her specific needs.

“It gave me emotional stress,” Valenzuela told reporters. “I don’t think it was fair... I felt hurt because I don’t understand why she did it. She had no reason. She had no complaints from anyone."

Not only was Valenzuela asked to no longer use the women's locker room, the manager was reportedly unmoved after Valenzuela showed her drivers license, which reflected her legal sex as female. She also had a formal letter from her doctor regarding her transition.

This isn't the first time a transgender individual has faced a situation like this. In one instance earlier this year, a nursing student was forced to use a storage closet as a bathroom when school officials threatened to press charges if she continued to use the women's restroom.

In an effort to combat the discriminatory regulation of spaces like public restrooms and locker rooms, states such as California and Arizona have sought to push through legislation that creates safe spaces for transgender minors in public schools to use public facilities.

The Huffington Post reached out to LA fitness for comment but a representative did not immediately respond. According to the initial report of this story, LA Fitness is aware of the situation and an employee allegedly stated that the management did not have any comment.

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