“At the beginning of last month a woman was assaulted in a private gym in Gijon, Spain. She was taking a shower when a man kicked the door open, almost knocking her out. She was dragged out, thrown to the floor, kicked and verbally assaulted by a group of men who told her their attack was just a warning. No one came to her aid. She managed to escape, get half dressed, and leave the men’s room. At the reception area, the gym’s staff members just gave her a tissue so that she could wipe some blood off. No one called the cops or an ambulance for her’ no one offered any other type of help.
This is not the first aggression against this woman. In my opinion the first offense was asking her to use the men’s room. You may be wondering where the catch is. Seems a little weird to make a woman use a men’s room, right? Well, this woman is a male to female transsexual. Her appearance is feminine, but she still has the name she was born with (masculine) on her license. Basing their decision on this technicality, the gym’s management team decided to make her use the men’s room without providing any type of protection or help to prevent an attack. This proves the management team’s lack of information about the transsexual community, their staff’s lack of knowledge/awareness/respect for the LGBT community and their specific needs, and their overall lack of sensibility.
This specific gym’s management team hasn’t condemned the transphobic aggression. The company, Fitness First Gym & Health Club, hasn’t publicly addressed the issue either. It doesn’t matter how big or small a gym is or its location. There is no excuse to look the other way when attacks like this happen. At this day and age, when a company claims to be the world’s largest gym, health and fitness club with over 1.5 million members and takes pride in their customer service, there’s no excuse for their lack of diversity awareness training and their lack of response to this issue that affects not only the victim of this attack but the entire LGBT community.
I’m asking my friends in the UK and US to:
1. Boycott Fitness First centers – stop going, don’t renew your contracts, don’t recommend the gym to your friends, relatives or acquaintances.
2. Write protest letters to their UK Headquarters:
Fitness First Limited
58 Fleets Lane
Phone – 01 202 845000
Forward your protest emails to their Press Department:
Phone – 023 8063 2211
Fax – 07889 774014
Email – Alyson.Marlow@leepeckgroup.com
3. For those in Spain or who speak Spanish and want to contact the Gijon gym’s management team directly, here is the contact info:
Noelia Merayo (Asistente de Gerente)
Miriam Echevarría Corujo (Responsable de Atención al Cliente)
Natalia López Escudero (Coordinadora de Recepción)
Cesar Grande (Responsable de Fitness )
Fitness First Gijon/ Los Fresnos
Río de Oro, 3 Local nº 3/6 – 15
33209 Gijón, Asturias
Telephone – 985 990630
Fax – 985 990631″
Well, one of the first names we’ll read for the 2012 Transgender Day of Remembrance has