NC man arrested after stripping in Planet Fitness women’s locker room

In what could easily be seen as a problem of their own making, given Planet Fitness’s no-judgmental policy when it comes to transgender members, a North Carolina man allegedly walked into a women’s bathroom and stripped naked in front of a mirror.

Christopher Allen Miller, 38, was arrested for exposing himself to a minor at a Gastonia Planet Fitness, reportedly asking the 17-year-old girl to rub lotion on him and join him in the shower. He was charged with felony indecent exposure for the purpose of “arousing and gratifying the defendant’s sexual desire,” according to court documents.

A woman called 911 and the dispatcher asked what Miller was wearing, WSOC-TV reported.

“Nothing, literally nothing,” the caller said.

“And is that man still there?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yeah, he is still in the bathroom,” the woman replied. “It’s a man but he says he identifies as a woman, and he won’t leave the restroom. But he is just walking around showing us his — and he won’t leave.”

Miller’s bond was set at $25,000.

The fitness company has been at the center of the transgender debate as a result of its favorable policies.

“Planet Fitness is more than your neighborhood fitness center – we are the Judgement Free Zone®. At Planet Fitness, we celebrate and champion diversity and provide an environment where everyone feels accepted, respected and like they belong. Planet Fitness prohibits discrimination and harassment that is based on gender identity or gender expression in the workplace and in our clubs.”

The policy states that “team members must take immediate action to address the situation and to ensure the safety” of any member experiencing harassment — the safety of women being forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with biological makes it a little murkier.

In relation to Miller, there is a policy that could apply, though it’s not clear if it was.

“Members and team members will be treated according to their self-reported gender identity. If a serious concern or significant doubt about the bona fides of a person’s transgender or nonbinary status/identity arises and which the team member can articulate, the team member shall address their concerns with the member,” the company policy states. “If discussion with the member fails to resolve the serious concern or doubt, the club may ask for external evidence of the member’s asserted gender identity. If it is confirmed that a member is acting in bad faith and improperly asserts a gender identity, they may be asked to leave and their membership may be terminated.”

Team members are also expected to address transgender and nonbinary members and other team members “with preferred names, titles, pronouns, and other terms consistent with their self-reported gender identity.”

Tom Tillison

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