Girl, 17, weeps as she recalls seeing naked trans woman with penis in women’s changing room

Girl, 17, weeps as she recalls seeing naked trans woman with penis in women’s changing room at California YMCA – and says woke staff scolded her for complaining about it

  • Rebecca Philips, 17, addressed the regular meeting of Santee City Council on Wednesday night
  • She told the council members in the San Diego suburb about her concerns over policies at the YMCA gym in the city of 60,000
  • Philips said that, two weeks previously, she had come across ‘a naked man’ in the women’s changing rooms
  • She complained to the YMCA officials, but was told she was never in danger and had no cause for alarm
  • In May 2022, San Diego County voted to allow anyone who defines themselves as a woman to use female prisons, shelters and facilities 

A Californian teenager sobbed before the city council as she told of her trauma at seeing ‘a naked man’ she says claimed to be a transgender woman inside the women’s changing rooms at her local YMCA.

Rebecca Philips, 17, addressed the meeting in Santee, a city suburb of San Diego, on Wednesday night to demand reform to the existing policy after encountering the unidentified individual. 

She told the council how, two weeks ago, she was getting changed after swimming at the Santee YMCA when she saw a transgender woman naked in the changing rooms.

‘As I was showering after my workout I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room,’ she said.

‘I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.’

Philips said she was haunted by the thought of her five-year-old sister, who she brings to the gym in the summer, encountering the same situation.

Her voice quivering, she said: ‘This is the YMCA, where hundreds of children spend their summer afternoons in child care camps.

‘This is the YMCA where my little sister took gymnastics lessons.

‘The locker room was supposed to be her safe haven to gossip with her friends, and shower and change.’  

Rebecca Philips, 17, addressed the Santee City Council on Wednesday night

Rebecca Philips, 17, addressed the Santee City Council on Wednesday night

She urged them to change their policy on transgender women using whichever facilities they chose, saying it was indecent and 'obscene'

 She urged them to change their policy on transgender women using whichever facilities they chose, saying it was indecent and ‘obscene’

Philips came across the transgender woman in the changing room of the YMCA in Santee, California - a city suburb of San Diego

Philips came across the transgender woman in the changing room of the YMCA in Santee, California – a city suburb of San Diego

Philips says staff told her the trans woman was perfectly entitled to be in the changing rooms, and that only those on the sex offender’s registry were banned from entering.

Women’s facilities – changing rooms, shelters, prisons – can be used by anyone in California thanks to a state law saying people must be allowed to use facilities which align with their gender identity.

And in May 2022 three Democrat supervisors for San Diego County decided to redefine the word ‘woman’ to include trans people. 

Nathan Fletcher, Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas all approved the measure. The two Republicans serving as supervisors voted against the bill.

Philips told the council she was horrified by the experience.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher was one of three to vote to approve the May 2022 bill which said anyone who defines themselves as female can use the facilities of their choice

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher was one of three to vote to approve the May 2022 bill which said anyone who defines themselves as female can use the facilities of their choice

Terra Lawson-Remer, another San Diego County supervisor, also voted to approve the bill

Supervisor Nora Vargas was the third supervisor to vote in favor of the new rule

Terra Lawson-Remer (left) and Nora Vargas (right), both San Diego County supervisors, also voted to approve the bill

Philips said that the YMCA management, asked about their transgender policy, told her ‘the man I saw was indeed allowed to shower wherever he pleased’.

She added: ‘A grown male can shower alongside a teenage girl at your YMCA, here in Santee.’

Philips said she was dismayed at the response from the YMCA staff.

‘I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong,’ she said.

‘The indecent exposure of a male to a female minor was an inconvenience to them.’

Philips said her father, who complained, was contacted by Teri Maas, the Association Director of Membership Experience at YMCA of San Diego County.

Teri Maas, the Association Director of Membership Experience at YMCA of San Diego County, rang Philips' father to reassure him his daughter was never at risk

Teri Maas, the Association Director of Membership Experience at YMCA of San Diego County, rang Philips’ father to reassure him his daughter was never at risk

‘She informed my dad that I was not in any danger,’ Philips said. ‘That I was safe.’

But, she added: ‘Could you knowingly send an underage girl into a room with a naked male and say she was safe? Or it was right?’

The YMCA said in a statement: ‘We are 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.

‘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.’

They said they were now reviewing their procedures, in light of Philips’ complaint.

‘As part of this commitment to ensure all individuals feel comfortable, we are reviewing lock room floorplans across all facilities within our association,’ they said.

‘Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to additional privacy if desired and needed.’

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