A Manhattan yoga studio has been slapped with a $5 million lawsuit because it refused to allow a biological male to use the women’s locker room.
“Ali Miles,” — aka Dylan Miles — identifies as transgender, and his lawsuit against Hot Yoga Chelsea is the third gender-identity discrimination complaint the Arizona native has filed in 13 months, sparking fears that his could “be part of a coming tsunami of trans-rights lawsuits targeting small businesses,” the New York Post reports.
According to court documents, Miles is in “the process of transitioning into [a] woman.” He wears women’s clothes, the filing says, and he is taking hormone therapies.
When he showed up at the yoga studio on May 4, Miles went into the women’s locker rooms and bathrooms, despite being barred from doing so by management.
“Female patrons … complained and yelled at Miles about Miles’ presence and use of the single-sex locker room and bathroom labeled women, and they demanded Miles leave and cease using the facilities,” according to the filing.
One purported witness told The Post that the problem at the yoga studio isn’t with transgender people — it’s with Miles.
“We have other transgender people [at Chelsea Hot Yoga], we have several trans women and several trans men, and there’s never been a problem. … it’s this individual,” the witness said.
“This person who claims to be a transitioning woman came into the female locker room, number one, in male shorts that were down to his knees. Although there could be some hormonal addition because his bust is bigger than mine, he did not wear any feminine top to cover his bust,” the witness explained. “He also de-robed, and he is a full male. There’s 150% man. There were things hanging out.”
His behavior was nothing less than disturbing, according to the witness: “It wasn’t even like he was just standing there. He was crouched down on the floor in front of the shower stalls. It was very uncomfortable for one of the women that was in there and she was completely naked.”
“This person started in immediately with reciting the law, and why would you do that?” the witness asked. “Because this person could see that there were other women, amongst myself, that were notably upset …This person, I don’t know if they come to these places to try to start a problem or whatever.”
In 2016, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City passed Local Law 79, which requires “all single-occupant toilet
rooms” in place of “public accommodation” be “made available for use by persons of any sex.”
“Any New Yorker – no matter how they identify or express their gender – will now be able to use any public, single-occupant bathroom,” de Blasio said at the time. “With this bill, we take yet another step toward becoming a place where all can live with dignity, free from fear and free from judgment.”
But experts fear the legislation will swamp city businesses with trans bathroom and locker room complaints, just as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has.
“The landmark federal bill is the impetus for hundreds of lawsuits, many in part stemming from apparent ‘professional plaintiffs’ who file dozens of claims and pressure small businesses into paying cash settlements,” The Post reports.
Attorney Ron Coleman believes lawsuits like Miles’ is “definitely a trend you can expect to see.”
But unlike with the ADA, public support for biological males in women’s spaces isn’t so strong.
“When the ADA was passed a political decision was made that we as a society are prepared to ‘bear the costs’ … in a potentially very expensive and very difficult manner, and I do think that consent existed,” he said. “I don’t believe there is such a consensus for trans people or people who claim to be trans people.”
On Twitter, support for Miles is, indeed, scarce.
“[T]he moment you realize you should become trans as a business opportunity,” tweeted one user.
“He has a track record of suing for discrimination,” wrote another. “He should be barred from suing for anything, ever again.”
“Man. That’s a man. Wearing a wig doesn’t magically transform one into a woman,” stated a third. “Why would a news publication call a man a ‘woman’ just because he puts on a wig and says he’s a woman?”
the moment you realize you should become trans as a business opportunity
— #1 Reply Guy (@ReplyGuyNo1) May 20, 2023
He has a track record of suing for discrimination. He should be barred from suing for anything, ever again.
— Meladori (@Meladori3) May 20, 2023
Man. That’s a man. Wearing a wig doesn’t magically transform one into a woman. Why would a news publication call a man a “woman” just because he puts on a wig and says he’s a woman?
— Marina Medvin (@MarinaMedvin) May 20, 2023
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