A female California teenager in San Diego County told local city officials Wednesday she was exposed to male genitalia inside a YMCA women’s locker room after finishing a workout.
Rebecca Phillips, 17, said during the public comments section at the January 11 Santee City Council meeting that the exposure happened two weeks ago after she completed swimming laps and cleaning up in the Cameron Family YMCA women’s locker room.
“As I was showering after my workout, I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room,” Phillips said. “I immediately went back into the shower terrified and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.”
Phillips said she asked YMCA management about the facility’s transgender policy, and she said the family recreation center confirmed to her that staff allowed the man “to shower wherever he pleased.”
“As long as you are not a red flag on Megan’s Law — California sex offender registry — a grown male can shower alongside a teenage girl at your YMCA location here in Santee,” Phillips told city officials. “I was made to feel as though I had done something wrong when I talked to people at the YMCA.”
According to the YMCA of San Diego County’s “Transgender & Nonbinary Guidelines,” employees must “teach acceptance and not hate,” adding they cannot assume an individual’s gender identity.
“No one should be required to use an alternative restroom because they are trans,” the guidelines state.
The guidelines further note that legal gender, physical genitalia, or gender expression don’t dictate the use of gender-segregated spaces, which allows “trans individuals” to choose either locker room/restroom. If the YMCA facility requires someone to use a bathroom or other areas specific to gender that a person does not “identify,” the statement reads that it could “be detrimental for a trans individual’s well-being and safety and puts the YMCA at risk for discrimination complaints.”
YMCA officials updated the policy last April around the same when the San Diego Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance, which opponents say redefines the meaning of the word “women” and jeopardizes women’s rights and safety.
San Diego County supervisors advanced the ordinance in May of last year, based on the United Nations women’s bill of rights formally known as “The Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” that President Jimmy Carter signed on to. The U.S. Senate never ratified the bill, but more than 180 countries adopted the international treaty.
San Diego County, however, added transgender and nonbinary inclusive language to its version, which applies to county departments and programs, according to its text.
Brittany Maher, San Diego resident and founder of the citizen group “Rooted Wings,” initially told county supervisors before the ordinance passed that it would have massive implications for women and girls in San Diego.
Maher told The Daily Wire that current policies created nationwide and in San Diego specifically are “dangerous and massively consequential for the safety and well-being of children,” adding that she refused to look the other way on Phillips’ experience at the YMCA.
“This is not rocket science,” Maher said. “This is as obvious as 2+2 = 4 — although, these days, some would say that is controversial.”
“We must protect our children from ideologies that are putting them in harm’s way,” she added.
Tracie Thill, founder of local citizen group SanteeParents4Choice, told The Daily Wire the group was concerned after San Diego County supervisors voted to “change the definition of a woman” it would allow males in female locker rooms at public schools.
“Unfortunately, this happened at our local Santee YMCA locker room, where countless minor girls use the facilities,” Thill said. “This will not be tolerated here. We will do whatever it takes to work with city leaders and YMCA officials to make a policy change — or the Y can see themselves out of Santee.”
San Diego County YMCA officials told KUSI News the organization is aware of a situation “involving two members in the locker room of the Santee YMCA earlier this month.”
“The comfort and safety of all our members is our highest priority,” the statement read, in part. “As a community focused organization, we strive to meet the needs of all individuals. We recognize that birth and gender identity are sensitive subjects. We rely on subject matter experts, laws, and guidelines established by the State of California to ensure our policies are welcoming and respectful for all community members.”
“As part of this commitment to ensure all individuals feel comfortable, we are reviewing lock room floorplans across all facilities within our association. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to additional privacy if desired and needed,” it continued.
Phillips claims her father reached out to management following the incident, but employees refused to let him speak with the branch manager.
Several days later, Phillips said, a top YMCA official allegedly told her father that his daughter had not been in any danger at the time of the incident. Phillips said the county sheriff’s department told her father not to let his daughter shower at the recreation center “ever again.”
Phillips further called on the city council to take action.
“The fact that we are now tailoring our privacy policies and bathroom laws around transgender — ignoring the blatant threat to safety that this poses is obscene,” Phillips said. “The safety of children — girls — is on the chopping block.”