A man stripped naked inside a workout facility, so of course right-wing bigots like Mike Huckabee wrongly blame transgender patrons of the company in question.
Eric Stagno, 34, went to a Planet Fitness facility this week in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and removed his clothing in the middle of the workout area. He looked at himself in the mirror a few times over, and began doing yoga stretches before he was asked to leave by police.
His excuse for his behavior was simple: He was trying to adhere to the principles that Planet Fitness put forward in their “judgement free” zone attitude.
That philosophy states that the company embraces a “non-intimidating, welcoming and supportive environment [that] fosters a sense of community among our members,” according to its official website.
Because of this policy, the company is also open and encouraging to transgender customers who wish to use the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity — and that’s the connection Huckabee made in a tweet on Tuesday.
“With the idiocy of Planet Fitness having said men could go into the women's locker rooms & saying there is no real gender and we can be whatever we feel like being, who would have ever seen THIS coming?” the former Arkansas Republican governor wrote in his tweet, linking to an article detailing Stagno’s incident.
With the idiocy of Planet Fitness having said men could go into the women's locker rooms & saying there is no real gender and we can be whatever we feel like being, who would have ever seen THIS coming? https://t.co/NwoGF44MZF— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 24, 2018
Huckabee is wrong to make such a wild accusation. Transgender men and women are not the issue here — Stagno himself is a cisgender male, and there’s nothing to suggest that his actions were even remotely related to the issue of acceptance of the transgender community.
The policy put forth by Planet Fitness — their “judgement free zone” philosophy — is meant to encourage patrons to push each other in positive ways toward a healthier and more physically fit lifestyle, regardless of who they are. It doesn’t encourage illegal behavior, like what Stagno engaged in.
Although some of their policies may be worthy of ridicule, Planet Fitness is right to promote acceptance at their facilities across the country. And Huckabee, who won’t even accept that transgender men and women even exist, is a fool and a bigot for promoting hatred based on an event that had absolutely nothing to do with these individuals.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake