A transgender woman who was refused entry to a female-only gym is demanding a personal apology.
Penelopy Mansell went to Revive Gym on Willis St in Wellington, New Zealand, to look at membership options and pricing when she was told she would be unable to join the facility.
Ms Mansell talked to a Revive employee who started to ask a lot questions before eventually saying: ‘I’m sorry, I’m gonna have to ask you if you are transgender?’.
Penelopy Mansell (pictured) was denied joining to Revive Gym on Willis St in Wellington
Ms Mansell talked to a Revive Fitness (pictured) employee who started to ask a lot questions
‘I thought that was inappropriate. She said it was the company’s policy that transgender people are medically authenticated,’ Mansell told NZME.
The fitness centre required medical proof that she had undertaken sex reassignment surgery.
Despite having completed court procedures to legally change her gender to female on her birth certificate and all other legal documents, Ms Mansell has not had sex reassignment surgery as the waiting list is too long.
She took out the birth certificate as proof that she is legally a woman but the gym employee wouldn’t let her enter the facility.
‘I don’t have Caitlyn Jenner’s money to look like the female I’m supposed to,’ she told Stuff.
In a statement provided to Daily Mail Australia, Revive Fitness area manager Cherie Cooper said that they will review their policy following the incident.
Eventually Ms Mansell (pictured) was told that she would not be able to proceed with an application
‘We would firstly like to apologise for any harm our current policy has caused.
‘The policy has been in place for a long time, but we acknowledge that this is no defence, and however unintentional it may have been we accept that it may be hurtful to those who are excluded by it,’ she said.
‘We know that this is a sensitive matter, and to that end as a business we are urgently reaching out to organisations within the Wellington GLBTI community for guidance and advice to review our policy and ensure that our gyms are a safe and comfortable environment, and an inclusive and understanding community for all.’
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission said they were unable to comment on the case.
Ms Mansell said she had no further comment to make on the matter.