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Screenshot of Rebecca Philips speaking in front of the Santee City Council
KUSI News

A teenager from California said she was traumatized after seeing a transgender woman at the YMCA.

Rebecca Philips, 17, alleged that while she was changing into her clothes after showering from swimming laps in the pool last month, she spotted a trans woman in the adult women's locker room.

Philips spoke before the Council of Santee City–a suburb of San Diego.

“As I was showering after my workout I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room."
"I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.”

There was no mention of the misgendered individual to whom she was referring interacting with her, causing her any harm—verbally or physically—or even looking at her.

You can see the clip of Philips before the Council.

She went on to discuss how transgender policies such as allowing trans women to change in female locker rooms should be changed.

The Daily Mail noted Philips additionally expressed concern her five-year-old sister could suffer the same trauma she experienced.

However YMCA policy states neither Philips nor her sister should be using an adult locker room.

Philips continued:

“This is the YMCA, where hundreds of children spend their summer afternoons in childcare 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.”

According to the ACLU, business establishments, non-profits and government agencies that serve the public in California cannot discriminate based on gender identity.

The state law suggests sex-segregated facilities can be used by anyone who aligns with the corresponding gender identity.

When Philips brought up her concerns to the YMCA staff, she was told the person she saw was allowed to "shower where she pleased."

"I was made to feel as though I had done something wrong when I talked to people at the YMCA," she said.

"Somehow the indecent exposure of a male to a female minor was an inconvenience to them."

Philips alleged her father spoke about the incident at the Sheriff's office and he was allegedly advised to never allow his daughter to shower there again.

He was later allegedly contacted by Teri Maas, the Association Director of Membership Experience at YMCA of San Diego County. Maas informed him his daughter was not in any danger and she was safe.

Philips countered:

"Could you knowingly send an underage girl into a room with a naked male and say she was safe? Or it was right?"
"The fact that we are now tailoring our privacy policies and bathroom laws around transgenders, ignoring the blatant threat to safety that this poses is obsene."
"The safety of children, girls, is on the chopping block."

She claimed her complaint about her alleged incident wasn't politically motivated.

Social media users weren't convinced.








The YMCA addressed the situation by issuing a statement that read:

"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."

The YMCA said they are in the process of reviewing their policies following the teen's complaint.

"As part of this commitment to ensure all individuals feel comfortable, we are reviewing locker room floorplans across all facilities within our association."
"Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to additional privacy if desired and needed."