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Trans man from IDHR complaint attending mediation with spa
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-03-02

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A transgender man who filed a complaint against a spa that refused to allow him use of the men's shower facilities will attend mediation with the spa.

Levi Pine, a transgender Chicagoan, is expected to meet with King Spa & Sauna three months after the spa kicked him out because other customers had complained about Pine.

Pine filed a complaint against the spa with Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) after the spa declined to allow him use of the men's shower facilities, offering him a private room instead. When Pine declined, he was told to leave.

As part of Pine's complaint process IDHR will host a mediation between Pine and King Spa on March 19.

King Spa did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The spa previously told Windy City Times that it did not know of a fairer policy than the one it already had in space.

"The naked man in the women's spa: that is equal? I don't think so," said a manager who identified himself only as John.

Pine said he wants access to the same facilities used by other customers. He hopes that the spa will change course on its transgender policy.

"The best case scenario is they agree to provide the exact same service to all guests regardless of their gender identity or presentation," Pine said.

Pine notes that apart from his own case, other transgender people have reported similar problems in spas and gym locker rooms.

The Fairfax Times recently reported on the case of Riya Suising, a runner who was kicked out of a Virginia Spa because of her gender presentation.

Pine said that after the King Spa incident, a friend tried to plan a queer-friendly trip to another spa, only to find that that spa had a similar policy.

"What happened to me is not just a one-off thing," Pine said. "It happens to tons of people all over the place."

Information on Riya Suising's case is available at: www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20130222/NEWS/130228867/1076/reddy-is-willing-and-able/Centreville-spa-openly-rejects-homosexual-transgendered-customers&template=fairfaxTimes .

Early coverage here:

www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Trans-man-hits-Niles-spa-with-discrimination-complaint/40762.html .


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