June 12, 2017 10:12 pm
Updated: June 12, 2017 10:16 pm

Toronto spa responds to allegations policy discriminates against women who are transgender

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto spa under fire for alleged transgender exclusion. Ashley Molnar reports.

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A Toronto spa is facing backlash online after an apparent policy that allegedly excludes women who are transgender from using the spa’s facilities.

“They claimed to be trans-positive then the manager called my friend (one hour before their booking) to say that they couldn’t come because they had a ‘no male genital rule,’” Facebook user Weronika Jane wrote in a post on Friday about Body Blitz, a business that describes itself as a “women’s only spa that puts a modern twist on ancient restorative water practices.”

“Tried to book an appointment for my wife @bodyblitzspa women’s only spa was told (their) trans-inclusion policy won’t allow ‘male genitalia,’” Twitter user Vi King posted on the same day.

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Since Friday, the Body Blitz Facebook page has received several one-star reviews and comments calling out the business.

“So disappointing. I love Body Blitz and I go as often as I can, and was looking forward to taking my trans-fiancée there until you update your policies to include ALL women, I won’t be coming back,” Brandy Lynn Dawley wrote Monday.

Facebook user Jessica Kroez wrote on Monday that she brought friends to the spa and recommended it to others. She said she wanted to visit before moving.

“Unfortunately I just heard that trans women are not welcome in this women-only space and no longer feel comfortable spending money or time here,” Kroez wrote.

“Trans women ARE women and deserve to enjoy women only spaces. I urge you to update your policy and apologize.”

After receiving criticisms of the policy over the weekend, the business wrote a post on its Facebook page Sunday to address the concerns:

“Because we are a bathing suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors,” the post read.

“We acknowledge, respect, and admire all the myriad ways that women’s bodies and gender are expressed.”

The post said the owners will be “working with a civil rights professional over the summer to help us with a clear and fair policy.”

“Please appreciate that policies take time and we are working diligently on this matter. Thank you for your patience,” it said.

Global News attempted to speak with the owner of Body Blitz, but no one was available for an on-camera interview. A representative issued the following statement on behalf of the spa:

“We support the LBGTQ community and recognize that this is a sensitive issue. However, because Body Blitz Spa is a single-sex facility with full-nudity, we are not like other facilities,” the statement read.

“We recognize that this is an important discussion for single-sex facilities to have and we will seek to find a satisfactory resolution.”

With files from Ashley Molnar

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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