Transgender Women Say They Were Harassed by DC Pool Employees

A group of transgender women say they were discriminated against during a recent outing to a public pool in the District.

The group of transgender women from the Casa Ruby Center, an LGBT rights organization, said the harassment took place last Friday at Banneker Recreation Center on Georgia Avenue NW.

News4 spoke with one of the transgender women, who did not want to be identified.

She said when they arrived at the rec center they asked a young woman at the front desk to point out the changing rooms that lead to the pool area.

"We walked in the direction and we noticed it was the men's room. So, we walked back to them and, you know, we asked 'Well, why would you send us to the men's room?,'" she said.

To which she said the employee responded, "'Oh, y'all can go to any bathroom you want. FYI, it's also the law for y'all to go to the men's bathroom.'"

When the group later decided to leave, they passed by the front desk again and asked for a supervisor to make a complaint.

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The woman said a supervisor at the pool apologized to them, but by then, a crowd of employees had gathered and made disparaging remarks toward them.

"Lifeguards were saying, you know, 'They shouldn't be in the women's room. There's children,' talking about pedophilia, being perverts and how it's just 'not right,'" she said.

An employee at the recreation center filed a police report, which tells a different story about the incident. According to the report, a Summer Youth Employment Program worker mistakenly directed the group to the men's room and felt threatened by the transgender women after they confronted her.

"A summer youth employee mistakenly misdirected patrons to the restroom. MPD is investigating a report that the patrons threatened the youth," Gwen Crump, the Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman, told News4 in a statement.

D.C. police said they are reviewing the rec center security camera footage.

This story was first reported by DCist.

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