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Trans Student Says University Staff Harassed, Kicked Him Out of Locker Room

Trans Student Says University Staff Harassed, Kicked Him Out of Locker Room


A.T. Furuya says he was berated by both a schoolmate and gym staff, who allegedly told him to leave the locker room despite San Diego State's clear nondiscrimination policy.

A student at San Diego State University says he was demeaned by a schoolmate in a university locker room and eventually kicked out by school staff.

Transmasculine graduate student A.T. Furuya told San Diego TV station KGTV Friday that he was fixing his hair in the Aztec Recreation Center men's locker room on January 14 when he heard a stranger start to shout. "He was leaning over and he was pointing at me and he was like, 'you need to get out of here, you need to leave, you don't belong here,'" Furuya recalled.

The man's verbal attack quickly became "sexually violent," Furuya added. The assailant allegedly yelled, among other things, "Get your titties and go across to the other locker room. That's where the women are. And, if you don't go, I'll remove you myself," according to LGBT Weekly.

That's when Furuya's friend Thomas Negron Jr. demanded that an Aztec staff member intervene -- and was shocked to see how the staff member reacted.

"Instead of getting security, the ARC staff member walked over to the aggressor and started apologizing, and being all apologetic to the aggressor, and telling the aggressor they understood why they felt uncomfortable and then turned around and asked my friend to leave the locker room," Negron told KGTV. He and Furuya say the first staff member was joined by two others that all demanded that the Negron and Furuya leave; Negron called campus security when he began to fear for their safety.

As Furuya continued to face verbal abuse, he said, he eventually decided to leave despite knowing he had the right to continue using the locker room. But he's now telling his story to draw awareness to the recreation center's ongoing lack of trans inclusivity, which he reportedly notified Associated Students executive director Christina Brown about in a November email.

While Furuya says Brown has been proactive about Furuya's complaints, which include a lack of sensitivity from Aztec's staff and a lack of partitioned showers that would allow all male locker room users the option of privacy, Furuya told LGBT Weekly that the university as a whole has been largely unresponsive. Negron added that university officials pay "lip service" to trans inclusivity through hosting "cute events" but have "dragged their feet" on establishing policies to make trans students safer.

SDSU officials have denied that Aztec staff members told Furuya to leave the men's locker room. The university's nondiscrimination policy bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

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