Marathon runner transgender woman Riya Suising often visits Korean Spa’s after a workout utilizing there hot and cold baths to help relax muscles after a run. But last year she was astounded and humiliated after a manager of Fairfax Spa World told her she had to leave.
“I was mortified,” she told FairFax Times February 22nd. “It was obvious that this business discriminates against any ‘abnormal appearing’ persons, specifically against LGBT people, and likely against anyone else not appearing up to their standards.”
The Better Business Bureau opened an investigation, and on Jan. 28, Spa World representative Sang Lee responded to the BBB in writing by stating “It is our policy to not accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender(s).”
The Spa World written reply goes on to say that the spa stands by this policy for the sake of young children who utilize the facility. “Also, for the safety and the comfort of young children at Spa World, we strongly forbid any abnormal sexual behaviors and orientation in our facility. Despite the controversial issue of homosexuality and transgender, it is our policy to not accept them,” Lee wrote. Lee did not return calls seeking further comment.
On Friday Spa World apparently changed there tune:
James Lee, a manager on duty at Spa World, told LGBTQ Nation on Friday that the incident was a result of misunderstanding and a language problem.
“The Korean-English barrier just made a small miscommunication, Mr. [Sang] Lee meant to write only that sexual activity, either gay or straight, is not allowed at Spa World,” said Lee. “There was a woman inside of the woman’s sauna, and we had many complaints about that particular person, stating there was a man inside of the woman’s locker room.”
He did acknowledge that a transgender woman using Spa World’s bathing and changing facilities doesn’t violate the spa’s policy, however, but that Suising “caught us all off-guard,” he said.
Lee said that the business will welcome and allow customers of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and that in the future, transgender customers will not be asked to leave.
Spa World Posted this to their facebook page and linked it to there twitter account yeasterday 3/1/2013
The LGBTQNation article says they will welcome transgender and gay people however I couldn’t find anything to indicate that they would on the facebook page Boycott Spa World .
Pursing the Spa World Facebook I couldn’t find a new policy statement only complaints about the Spa’s broken down facility, 100% increases in daily fee’s and angry customers comments.