As a woman and a mom, I naturally was concerned that my children or I could be in the presence of a man while using the women’s locker room at the Claude Moore Recreation and Community Center in Sterling, Virginia.
So I reached out to the pool director and division manager of this Loudoun County government building to ask what their policies were regarding locker room access.
That was just the beginning.
After months of asking various authorities, I have been unable to find a single straight answer about our neighborhood pool’s policy.
Then a few days ago, an official police report surfaced: A naked man walking around the women’s locker room was seen peeping at a girl inside one of the shower stalls. When recreation center staff approached the man, he fled, and investigators are still looking for him.
I have no idea how this person identifies. I have no idea why no one asked questions when this man entered the women’s facilities in the first place. Most importantly, I have no idea what would have happened if this criminal had claimed to be a woman when confronted by staff.
While I write about this, Congress is about to vote on the Equality Act, which would make this policy the law of the land across all 50 states.
As we move into the summer months, I already do not feel safe taking my children to my Loudoun County pool—not just because the peeping Tom is still at large, but because of what I discovered about our local community center.
If I cannot be confident that my children and I will be safe in a female-only space, where else are we supposed to go?
When I approached the director and division manager at the pool, I was told that as of 2010, the facility granted access to private facilities on the basis of self-identified gender.
I was told that if a woman complains about a man in the locker room, and the man identifies as a transgender woman, then staff would have a conversation with that person. It was unclear what would happen after that.
When I expressed my dismay about this ambiguous policy, the director asked me point-blank: “How much privacy do you need?”
I could only blink at him. I was speechless.
As I paused, he told me there are “partitioned areas” and each shower is curtained off individually.
That made my blood boil. So I told him:
“Have you ever been in a woman’s locker room? No? Well, let me tell you…