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For Immediate Release
December 15th, 2015
In Washington State, and across the country, there is a growing focus on transgender individuals and their rights to access public restrooms and locker rooms. These are places the rest of us usually take for granted. In October, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties issued a policy that discriminated against transgender members. Over the past three months, the YMCA has listened to its members and community leaders.
The YMCA has strengthened our communities for years based on policy, practices and programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. By helping children, adults and families from all walks of life reach their goals and contribute to solutions that improve communities, the Y provides people with endless opportunities to achieve more, and we will continue to support them in those efforts.
Through this process, we have been reminded that true equality is not yet a reality for many in our community. Though we might not always realize it, transgender people are part of our families, workplaces, our neighborhoods, and our places of worship—and they need to be able to use the restroom and locker room, just like everyone else.
The YMCA is an institutional leader in our community and is now a model for transgender inclusion. As community leaders, organizations that support the LGBT community, and faith leaders, we applaud the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties for their December 15th, 2015 decision to allow all its members, including transgender individuals, use of the restroom and locker room facilities that are consistent with
their gender identities. By adopting inclusive policies, places of public accommodation can ensure that all people are welcomed, included, and supported.