National / Crime & Legal

Transgender woman sues gym over changing-room use

Kyodo

A transgender business manager in the city of Kyoto sued major fitness club operator Konami Sports Club Co. on Friday, saying she was forced to use its facility in Kyoto Prefecture as a man before undergoing sex reassignment surgery.

The woman, who is in her 40s, seeks ¥4.7 million in compensation for the emotional suffering caused, in a civil lawsuit filed at the Kyoto District Court.

According to the lawsuit, the business manager has been diagnosed by a doctor as having gender identity disorder and was about to undergo surgery in March 2014.

When she visited a fitness center and asked that she be allowed to change in a room not for men, she was denied the request by the manager of the club, who said such an arrangement was only possible after she had her gender status changed on the family register.

The plaintiff says that, because she had an underage daughter, she didn’t meet the requirements for the legal status change. As a result, she lost the opportunity to use the club.

“Through this lawsuit, I would like to help eliminate discrimination in society,” the plaintiff said. Konami Sports Club said it will “deal with the matter appropriately after receiving the filed complaint.”

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