An 80-year-old woman who was banned from her local gym after taking issue with a transgender employee in the women’s locker room was heckled during a physical confrontation with pro-transgender activists on Monday evening.
Julie Jaman, who was recently banned from the YMCA of Port Townsend, Washington, for objecting to a biological male in the women’s locker room, was shouted at and confronted by trans activists screaming “trans rights are human rights” and other pro-transgender slogans.
Amy Sousa, founding member of RevFoxxUSA and organizer of the event defending Jaman, where the confrontation took place, said that if it weren’t for the wall behind the backs of Jaman’s supporters, “Some real violence would have happened.”
“All kinds of men were assaulting us and crawling between our legs,” Sousa said about the scrum that interrupted her remarks. “They continued to move in on us closer and closer until we were pinned against the wall. They were touching us and stealing our things, trying to turn off our sounds, trying to disrupt our equipment.”
Sousa added, “We were forced to engage with them because we had to try to get back our things. It was incredibly overwhelming.”
Sousa also said that at least one member of her group plans to file assault charges with local police.
While visiting the YMCA near her home, Jaman said that she was showering after a swim on July 26 and witnessed a biological male who identifies as transgender in the locker room. She was startled by the fact that the individual seemed to be watching young girls change out of their bathing suits.
Jaman said during a radio interview with Seattle radio show host Dori Monson that she was stunned when a staff member told her she was “being discriminatory” when she asked the male, who turned out to be a YMCA employee, to leave, and she was “was banned from the pool forever.”
Erin Hawkins, the marketing & communications manager for the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, said last week that the ban followed a build-up of incidents where Jaman violated the facility’s code of conduct. She claimed that the permanent suspension was not solely due to the singular incident in the women’s locker room last month.
“Julie Jaman was permanently suspended from the Mountain View Pool due to her repeatedly violating our Code of Conduct, specifically, using disrespectful words or gestures toward YMCA staff or others; abusive, harassing and/or obscene language or gestures toward YMCA staff or others,” Hawkins said in comment.
Sousa, however, plans to continue exploring options to bring awareness to the issue, including more press conferences and possible legal action.
“This is just the beginning,” Sousa said about her group’s future plans to push back against the YMCA’s decision. “This is the beginning of our pushback on this. There is going to be a lot more.”
Biological males who identify as transgender using facilities intended for biological females has been a point of political contention in recent months.
Lia Thomas, a swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, served as one of the root causes behind the sudden increase in awareness. Thomas began swimming for the women’s team and dominating female competition. The transgender athlete had previously swam for the men’s team.
A recent University of Maryland-Washington Post survey revealed that the majority of respondents believed that biological males should be allowed to participate in women’s sports. Fifty-eight percent of respondents believed it should not be allowed in professional sports with just 28% believing it should.