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If gym member makes threatening homophobic remarks to your face, should that member be expelled from that gym?

Aaron Poirier was getting dressed at the Robert Lee YMCA in downtown Vancouver on Nov 3 when a man began leaving his things all over the area.

Poirier asked the man if that was necessary.

"He said, 'You better watch out or I'm going to crack you. You listen, you fag, I'll crack you,'" Poirier, 36, alleges.

Poirier says he got a manager who confronted the man.

"He denied it," Poirier says, adding the manager took a statement from him and that the man continued to act aggressively as he was leaving.

The following day, Poirier returned with his partner, Olivier Ferlatte, 32. They went to the far end of the change room. The man was there again and began shouting, Poirier says.

"Hey, you going to call the big boss?" Poirier alleges the man said.

When Poirier asked the man what he said, he repeated it, Poirier alleges. At that point, a YMCA staff member came in to defuse the situation.

It didn’t work. Poirier says the threats escalated.

"He doesn't know what he's got coming," Poirier alleges the man said. "He doesn't know what he's getting into."

Poirier says he again met with a manager. "I said he threatened me twice. Once, he very explicitly said he was going to punch me."

"My boyfriend was called a fag. Threaten twice by the same guy in the change room. Y management will do nothing,"

"The YMCA refuses to revoke his membership despite threats being done on two different days, in front of staff.

YMCA of Greater Vancouver spokesperson Kelly Walker says staff met with both men after "an argument occurred" on the Nov 3-4 weekend.

She confirms that "a derogatory term was used."

"The Y met with both men and communicated that aggression and discrimination was unacceptable," Walker says.

She calls the incident “regrettable and unacceptable" but says it is "an opportunity to teach the individual in question about appropriate behaviour and acceptance of all people regardless of their sexual orientation.”

"The member in question apologized to the Y and assured us this would not happen again," Walker says. "There is now a letter in this member's file. This member has been notified if there is another incident like this again, their membership will be suspended."

She acknowledges that Robert Lee YMCA (located just blocks from the gay village) has a significant number of gay members, and says the YMCA values diversity.

"We take matters like this very seriously," she says.

Aaron Poirier believes if the incident were racially motivated, the YMCA response would be different.

"It's just shocking," he says. "Would they be talking about a second chance?"

So should the member have been expelled? Or did the Y handle this situation properly?

by Anonymousreply 1711/09/2012

"I'm going to give you what you need if you don't shut up, you cunt."

"So now you're getting uppity, you stupid piece of black shit."

Would someone attempt to convince me that the YMCA (and remember what the fucking "C" in that alludes to) would not bar a member using either of those statements?

Of course not. The Y is being unfair and cowardly and not stepping in with a situation that is out of hand. The Y needs to be sued.

by Anonymousreply 111/09/2012

Right now the gay community is organizing a boycott at that particular Y and are suspending their memberships.

by Anonymousreply 211/09/2012

Contact info for this YMCA:

604-689-9622 (YMCA)

FAX: 604-699-9622

Maybe we should call them up and ask them about this situation.

by Anonymousreply 311/09/2012

It is perfectly reasonable for a gym to kick out anyone unjustifiably threatening another member. It has nothing to do with homophobia, racism, personal animosity or any other potential reason. Gym members should feel safe and not harassed.

by Anonymousreply 411/09/2012

The Y has chosen to give him a warning. While dismissing him might have been an equally or arguably more appropriate action, I don't think what the Y did merits a boycott. However, should this guy go ballistic and do this to another member, or again to this member - or, God forbid, do worse - the Y is going to be looking at a huge lawsuit. If I were them, I'd kick this guy out now.

by Anonymousreply 511/09/2012

It's another example, however, of an incident triggered by someone interferring in something that was not their business.

by Anonymousreply 611/09/2012

It wouldn't cost the gym anything to boot the guy. I think the gay clientele should boycott. Lord knows that's gotta be a good bulk of their membership.

by Anonymousreply 711/09/2012

I am biracial and got called a ni#### by a woman at my gym in Scottsdale about ten years ago. A trainer that worked there heard her, but just shook his head and said nothing. I didn't expect them to kick her out, but it would have been nice if he would have stepped in and said something. I didn't feel physically threatened, however. I could have beat her ass.

by Anonymousreply 811/09/2012

Well, legally speaking the YMCA can absolutely do what it likes--it's a private institution. But if I were members of the gay community in Vancouver I would boycott this institution.

by Anonymousreply 911/09/2012

It really bothers me that happened to you, R8. It sucks that people can be so ignorant and hateful.

by Anonymousreply 1011/09/2012

WTF? The Y manager says this a a "teachable moment" and that the homophobic bully should be given an opportunity to learn how to behave appropriately. LOL! Did I read that right? So, the gay men who were victims of abuse need to tolerate it so that some Neanderthal can learn a lesson? WTF is this, preschool?

Someone needs to punch that woman in the face and knock all her teeth out. Then we can send the the person who hit her to "sensitivity training" to make it all better.

by Anonymousreply 1111/09/2012

Wow. I actually work with Aaron - who is a nice guy and mild-mannered - and I hadn't heard that this had happened. I'm really surprised how the Y has reacted. I don't know if it's the same in the U.S., but the Y here tends to be a very liberal (and run by liberals) organization. I'm pretty they handled it this way, and, of course, to see a coworker's name in a Datalounge thread...

by Anonymousreply 1211/09/2012

R12, please tell Aaron that the homophobic slob who threatened him needs to be viciously face-slapped.

by Anonymousreply 1311/09/2012

I'll let him know, R13!

by Anonymousreply 1411/09/2012

Yeah, even if it is a teachable moment that's bullshit. The guy is conducting himself in a way that isn't acceptable in the environment. You don't go to the gym to feel threatened or be threatened. The nature of the behaviour is irrelevant. The Y has this one wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1511/09/2012

Young Men's Cunt Association, i.e. no balls?

by Anonymousreply 1611/09/2012

Great so give him a 3rd time, so maybe tghis bully will physically harm him, not cool

by Anonymousreply 1711/09/2012
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