Transgender woman settles with California gym over access

December 9, 2021 GMT

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A transgender woman has won a settlement in a civil rights lawsuit filed against a Southern California gym that denied her access to the women’s locker room, the American Civil Liberties Union announced.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the Crunch Fitness in El Cajon, alleging Christynne Wood was discriminated against on the basis of her gender identity.

The ACLU and others later joined the suit, filed in San Diego Superior Court. The financial amount Wood will receive was not disclosed, but the agreement also includes anti-discrimination training for employees at the gym, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.

Wood, who remains a gym member, said she felt validated by the settlement.


“Whether you are uncomfortable or not is irrelevant,” she told the Union-Tribune. “People were uncomfortable with integration back in the 50s and 60s.”

Attorney Tami Vail, who represented the gym’s former owner, declined comment on behalf of her client.

Wood said the gym management declined her requests to use the women’s locker room for nearly a year beginning in September 2016. The refusal continued after she legally changed her name and gender.

Michael Israel, the attorney for the limited liability company that owns the gym said Crunch Fitness “is glad to have resolved the matter with Ms. Wood and the related claims.”