A cruel display at the YMCA; why transgender people are not safe


Kristian Carreon

Chrystynne Wood, a transgender woman, addresses the city council at Santee City Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Picture provided by Tribune Content Agency.

Ryelee Belgarde, Social Media Editor

Several weeks ago, Rebecca Phillips went to the front desk of the Santee Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to report that a “naked man” was inside the women’s locker room. She was then informed that because the alleged “man” was actually transgender, she could make use of the women’s locker room. 

Christynne Lili Wrene Wood, the “man” in question, has fully completed her transition. Wood states that she always showers with the curtain closed, and in the private stalls of the locker room. This is due to past issues with gymnasiums not allowing her to use the women’s locker room. Which left her to face ridicule in the men’s locker room.

This situation has been completely blown out of proportion. 

Phillips brings up the fact that her five-year-old sister uses the same locker room as Wood and that she is concerned for the safety of her siblings and her own. According to the YMCA membership policy, anyone under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult, which means that no children should be exposed to any danger because they should be with a parent, guardian, or sibling at all times.

The cruel way Phillips expressed her concerns was unacceptable, but now might be a good time to evaluate the YMCA’s policy for locker rooms and make the policies known to the general public to try and avoid future similar situations. However, it might be best if the YMCA and other gymnasiums considered adding a third, non-gendered locker room. That way, people who don’t feel comfortable can use that instead. 

Christynne Wood is a fully transitioned woman, and her safety would be put at risk if she were to go into the men’s locker room. Phillips had no reason to shame Wood.

After this incident, it is not clear whether or not other transgender people will feel safe in either the men’s or women’s locker room due to fear that someone could publicly expose and ridicule them.