Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-06-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trans man hits Niles spa with discrimination complaint
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-12-11

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


A Chicago area spa is facing down discrimination allegations, after management told a transgender person he could not use the spa's men's shower area.

Levi Pine, a Chicago transgender man, has filed an Illinois Dept. of Human Rights (IDHR) complaint against King Spa & Sauna in Niles, after a manager told him he would have to use a private shower or leave.

"The experience I had was particularly degrading," said Pine.

Pine has been on masculinizing hormones for a year. When he went to the spa on Dec. 9 with a friend, he used the men's shower facilities. Pine said the manager approached him while he was naked and asked to speak with him.

Both the manager and Pine tell the same story about what happened next.

The manager, who identified himself as John but declined to provide a last name to Windy City Times, questioned Pine about his gender. Pine told John that he was transgender, and John said he could provide Pine with a private shower.

Pine said he did not want a private shower and that he could use the same facilities used by other customers. But, John said, other customers had complained.

"We only have a men's spa and a women's spa," John told Windy City Times.

John said he recognizes that transgender people are a minority, and said that he treats all of his customers the same. But he didn't want other customers to feel uncomfortable, he said.

Pine told John that he felt he was being discriminated against.

"I shouldn't have to be sequestered into a private area," Pine later told Windy City Times. "Just because some people who go there are uncomfortable with my body, shouldn't change what I have to do and shouldn't change my rights as a customer."

Two attorneys agree.

Joanie Rae Wimmer, the attorney behind the first successful transgender case under the Illinois Human Rights Act, said she believes Pine has a valid claim.

"It's clear that they denied him enjoyment of equal facilities," she said.

Wimmer points out that the same Illinois law that protects gender identity in public accommodations also applies to race. Customers could not dictate that an African American man should have to use a separate shower because others were uncomfortable, she pointed out.

The Illinois Human Rights Act does make exceptions for the case of "sex" in locker rooms, health clubs and other settings. But Wimmer said she believes that exception only applies to "sex" and not to "gender identity," two different protected categories.

John Knight, LGBT project attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, echoed similar sentiments.

Assuming Pine's version of events are true, he said, "I think certainly, he's got a valid claim."

"It's stigmatizing. It's not fair treatment," Knight said. "That would violate the Human Rights Act, to force him into a private facility."

Pine's state identification marker does not say "male," a fact that Knight says should not change his case.

Pine has filed an IDHR complaint against the spa, sent a letter to the spa and notified the Cook County Department of Human Rights. Pine said he simply wants an apology, and wants the spa to adopt a new trans-friendly policy.

"As mad as I am, I feel like this was an opportunity to have dialogue that wouldn't have happened otherwise," said Pine.

John, the spa manager, says that if there is a better solution than offering a private room, he does not see it.

"The naked man in the women's spa: that is equal?" he said. "I don't think so."


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Lurie Gender and Sex program receives Pritzker $500K matching gift 2016-06-25
Transgender military ban to be lifted July 1 2016-06-24
Transgender measure passes City Council vote 2016-06-22
VIEWS Targeted act of a terrorist's hate 2016-06-21
Oregon: Resident can change to nonbinary 2016-06-21
Donald Trump to Campaign, Again, with Anti-LGBTQ Leaders and Hate Groups 2016-06-21
New Employer Resource to Help End Transgender Employment Discrimination 2016-06-19
Groups Call on Legislators to Reject Appalling Attacks on Trans Children 2016-06-19
LGBT Advocates Issue New Guidelines for Hospitals Treating Trans Patients 2016-06-19
Palm Center symposium on military trans ban 2016-06-18
Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit released 2016-06-18
Federal Judge grants intervention motion in case regarding trans students 2016-06-15
National roundup: Anti-trans incidents, politician's tweet, Texas murder charge 2016-06-14
VA proposes lifting ban on gender confirmation surgery for veterans 2016-06-11
Activists upset that Ald. Burke wants to add police to hate-crime law 2016-06-10
City Council committee votes to advance trans measure 2016-06-08
National roundup: Military and Pride Month, Cyndi Lauper, trans survey 2016-06-07
Uptown Target counter-protest strikes emotional chord 2016-06-04
Trans United Fund releases Sanders answers, shares Clinton's Op-Ed 2016-06-03
Views: The Bathroom: America's New Civil Rights Battleground 2016-06-03
Trans and allies to support Target Saturday 2016-06-03
Report looks at trans community and the law 2016-06-01
Trans activist dies after being shot 2016-06-01
Trans-measure testimony set for June 8 2016-06-01
Entertainment news: 'Project Runway,' Boy George, Deborah Cox, 'Transparent' 2016-05-31
National roundup: Trans survey, Gates ends term, UNC defies HB2 2016-05-31
Dining news: Piccolo Sogno items; trans ice-cream social 2016-05-31
Testimony on Chicago transgender measure set for June 8 2016-05-29
Student A seeks intervene in trans lawsuit against the feds, District 211 2016-05-26
Lawsuit Filed by 11 states challenges Obama on trans guidance 2016-05-25
VIEWS North Carolina governor's ignorance of trans identity 2016-05-25
Report: Bathroom bills further criminalize trans lives 2016-05-23
Trans United Fund issues questionnaires to prez candidates 2016-05-23
Demi Lovato Wears Support For Trans Community During Billboard Awards 2016-05-22
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
UN blocks orgs that rep trans people from AIDS meeting 2016-05-22
ACLU: Chelsea Manning Prosecution Was Unconstitutional 2016-05-22
Chicago mayor, LGBT Caucus introduce measure to protect trans residents from bias 2016-05-18
Latest 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner crowned 2016-05-17
National roundup: Trans appointment, GLSEN honors, Whole Foods hoax 2016-05-17
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.