Man Banned from Downtown YMCA for Instagram Photo Says He Wasn’t Treated Equal

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A Downtown Nashville YMCA member says he was banned from the facility after he posted a locker room photo on Instagram, tagging himself at the location.

According to the young man that was banned, the director told him that she had to “use him as an example because men love to cruise around the area and they have children around” – however there was no ‘cruising’ happening here. This happened in a meeting this week, after the YMCA management noticed his post on Instagram, and reached him by phone to ask him to meet. He then met with the facility director, who had a screenshot of his Instagram post(below).  He says he was not given any option to remove the photo or un-tag the location, but instead, was told that he was banned from the facility, immediately & indefinitely.

To set the scene, the Downtown YMCA has several locker rooms – one adult men’s, one adult women’s, and two family locker rooms. The photo was taken in the adult male locker room, where men are regularly fully naked changing clothes before and after showing. The photo shows two men in the adult men’s locker room standing beside each other, and one of them is grabbing his crotch area. The YMCA felt this photo was enough to permanently ban the member from all YMCA of Middle Tennessee facilities.

We reached out to Jessica Fain, the Chief Strategy Officer for YMCA of Middle Tennessee, who told us that the decision to terminate the membership of this member was based upon them learning of the photo taken in their locker room and tagged with their location.

“Our YMCAs are committed to the inclusion of all individuals, and the termination of this membership was in no way related to sexual orientation. The decision to terminate the membership was made because of a clear violation of our policies prohibiting inappropriate behavior and the use of cameras in our locker rooms. These policies are very clearly stated on posted rules signs inside the locker room and are enforced to ensure the safety and comfort of all members who use the facilities. Upon learning of the presence of an image on social media, in which our location was referenced, we acted in accordance with our policies.”
-Jessica Fain, YMCA

While having a phone with a camera, is actually against the rules (photo of rules sign at bottom of story) – it apparently isn’t enforced. This is evidenced by the hundreds of locker room photos we found in a simple scroll of the tagged location on Instagram, which is the same way the center leadership found the photo in question – so it stands to reason they would have seen the others, as well. Many of these members post on a weekly basis. We’ve included a small sampling below, to demonstrate that the rule doesn’t appear to be applied equally. We reached out to several of these members via IG, and none have experienced any negative effects from tagging the YMCA location in their gym photos:

As of Sunday, there is no resolution between the now terminated member and the management of the Downtown YMCA, despite the apparent disparity in enforcement of the rules, which are posted at the facility as shown below.



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