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Scores of area residents participated in a demonstration concerning transgender rights on Saturday, Feb. 25. Held at the Xenia YMCA, two opposing factions congregated to express their views on the fitness center’s locker room policy that allows guests to use whichever changing area that aligns with their identified gender. Over a dozen Yellow Springers held signs and sang protest songs on the side of the demonstrators in support of the YMCA and transgender people generally. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Trans rights focus of Xenia protest

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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.

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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.”

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One Response to “Trans rights focus of Xenia protest”

  1. Anonymous says:

    There should be partitions in any dressing/changing/locker rooms. Are there any? What would make these women think anyone would want to see their naked butts? People in general just lack common sense when it comes to maintaining personal levels of privacy. If they’d fix the lack of privacy via appropriate barriers/shower stalls there would be no issue with transgender individuals or anyone else. People are bullied for many reasons in situations that lack personal privacy: You’re too Fat! You’re too skinny! You have scars; you’re top heavy; you’re flat; you’re crooked; you’re saggy; you’re wrinkled; you’re flabby; you’re too muscular; you’re too old; oh, you’re real! You’re too this or that! What a vile species we are! Quit looking! And teach your children to respect human rights.

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