A transgender woman in New York is suing a yoga studio for a whopping $5 Million because the studio misgendered her and wouldn’t let her use the women’s locker room.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday, refers to the plaintiff as “ALI MILES a/k/a/ DYLAN MILES“ and states “This is a civil action for monetary damages, and injunctive relief, brought by Plaintiff Dylan Miles to redress discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. CHELSEA TRADITIONAL HOT YOGA LLC d/b/a HOT YOGA CHELSEA NYC, and its principals, owners, employees, MONIQUE FLORIO, NEIL COPPER deprived Plaintiff of his civil rights because he is gay, undergoing a gender transition, and because Miles does not conform to CHELSEA TRADITIONAL HOT YOGA LLC d/b/a HOT YOGA CHELSEA NYC, and its principals, owners, employees, MONIQUE FLORIO, NEIL COPPER gender–based preferences, expectations, or stereotypes about how a man/woman should dress and conduct himself/herself.”
The complaint goes on to specify:
9. Miles is an LGBTQIA+ individual, who was born with male genitalia but identifies
10. Miles is a male–to–female transgender woman.
11. Miles wears women’s clothing and in all appearance expresses as a person of the
12. Miles is in the process of transitioning into woman through various medical
treatments and hormone therapies.
13. On or about May 4, 2023, at 4:00 pm, Miles appeared at YOGA to participate in a
5 pm yoga class.
14. YOGA have did not have single–occupancy restrooms.
15. YOGA did not have single–occupancy locker rooms.
16. Miles sat down with the manager and owner and specifically told the manager about
Miles’ gender status, and informed that Miles most closely aligned with female gender identity and that Miles intended to and wished to use a private non–gender specific restroom and locker
17. Defendant informed Miles that YOGA had no non–gender specific bathrooms and
had no non–gender specific locker room.
23. Miles was informed by YOGA which specifically confirmed that MILES could not
use the woman’s bathroom/locker room.
26. Miles attended the yoga class and when the class was completed Miles went into
the single–sex bathroom labelled Women.
27. Miles attended the yoga class and when the class was completed Miles went into
the single–sex locker room labelled Women.
28. Miles began using the public accommodation and facilities in the single–sex locker
room labelled Women.
29. Female patrons of YOGA complained and yelled at Miles about Miles’ presence
and use of the single–sex locker room and bathroom labelled Women, and they demanded Miles
leave and cease using the facilities.
30. Female patrons of YOGA complained to YOGA about Miles’ presence and use of
the single–sex locker room and bathroom labelled Women and they demanded Miles leave and
cease using the facilities.
33. YOGA refused to allow Miles to utilize the single–gender locker room and
bathroom, most closely aligned with Mile’s gender.
39. This incident caused a stir in YOGA and negative attention was drawn to Miles
from other YOGA patrons.
40. Feeling shame, humiliation, and frustration, Miles, against Miles wishes and intent
ceased using the single–gender locker room and bathroom, most closely aligned with Mile’s
41. Miles was escorted out of the single–gender locker room and bathroom labelled
Women, which was most closely aligned with Mile’s gender.
The complaint then goes on to cite numerous human rights statutes, including gender, orientation, and discrimination laws. One such citation includes “Some people, including customers, other program participants, tenants, or employees, may object to sharing a facility or participating in a program with a transgender, non– binary, or gender non–conforming person. Such objections are not a lawful reason to deny access to that transgender, non–binary, or gender non–conforming person.“
Even more concerning is the citation of the part of the law which apparently reads “Aiding and abetting. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this chapter, or to attempt to do so.“
So you better not misgender anyone or stand there watching while someone else misgenders someone, otherwise you could be on the hook for $5 Million.
Miles’s attorney, Peter Sverd, previously represented a disabled woman who attempted to sue 64 hotels for ADA violations, while also admitting that she never intended to actually stay at any of the hotels and she was just “testing” them for violations. It appears as though those cases were eventually dismissed.