Trans rights focus of Xenia protest
- Published: March 3, 2023
On Saturday, Feb. 25, over 100 demonstrators assembled on opposite sides of the street outside the Xenia YMCA to express their views on the fitness center’s policy that allows transgender people to use the locker room that aligns with their identified gender.
Regional concerns over the YMCA’s policies arose from a series of occasions throughout the last two years when a transgender woman used the women’s locker room.
The woman in question, Rachel Glines, 31, was charged with three counts of public indecency last fall after Xenia police received several complaints of “a naked man in the females’ locker room” from gym goers. Glines’ trial was continued after a Feb. 3 pretrial hearing. The rescheduled trial date has not yet been set.
On one side of Progress Drive outside the YMCA, were around 20 protestors generally opposed to the center’s policy.
Members of this faction waved American flags and held a variety of anti-trans signage. Several read, “Humans Can’t Change Sex: Are Women’s Sex-Based Rights Hateful?” and “Keep Our Women Safe.” One protestor paced the sidewalk with a seven-foot-tall crucifix leaning on his shoulder.
Across the street were dozens of people showing their support for both transgender rights and the YMCA’s locker room policies.
This group wielded polychromatic pride flags, danced to the fitness center’s eponymous song by the Village People and passed a microphone to those wishing to broadcast testimonials to the protestors across the street. The central message from those who spoke — including three Christian faith leaders — was that love and inclusion are paramount. Signs on this side read, “If It’s Anti-LGBT, It’s Discrimination,” “Don’t Worry About My Genitals” and others of similar sentiments.
On the side of the transgender rights supporters were a number of Yellow Springs residents. One villager, Chasilee Crawford, told the News she felt called to attend the demonstration to show support not just for all transgender people, but for her trans daughter.
“As a mother, it is my duty to protect my child,” Crawford said. “It is my duty to protect all children.”