An alleged incident involving a trans woman changing in a girls’ change room at a Calgary pool has earned the ire of parents that ultimately fell on deaf ears.
A 15-year-old girl glimpsed another patron's penis while changing in the Canyon Meadows Pool locker room in early February. She expressed incredible discomfort with the ordeal and quickly left the area.
"I was just changing when a man came in with an arrogant look. He promptly undressed," the girl told the Western Standard on Tuesday.
"He walked around in the room naked for some time. I got out of there as fast as I could," she said. "I felt shaken up and horrified that this [happened]."
On February 1, a biological male entered the women's changing room as most of the girls finished their swimming lessons, as first reported by the Western Standard.
The girl's father, Allan Eisses, said one of the moms followed the transwoman into the changing rooms and herded the girls into the private stalls after catching a glimpse of the person.
"While this was happening, the man proceeded to get undressed and walk around the room naked, penis hanging out in full view of all of them."
Eisses said his two oldest daughters, 13 and 15, witnessed the event, among others.
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has not returned requests for comment from the Western Standard concerning the alleged incident.
"My wife and other concerned parents spoke to the managers and staff at the pool. I spoke to my city councillor's office and the Community Resource Office at the police station," said Eisses.
According to a facility manager, the province's Human Rights Act protects the use of the facility by trans women.
"They all gave us largely the same line, if the individual identifies as a woman, then it's the right of the individual to access the changing room," said Eisses, adding their reasoning is "completely unsatisfactory, of course."
Pool staff told Eisses the City of Calgary could do nothing to rectify the situation.
"Calgary Recreation is committed to providing recreation opportunities for all Calgarians," reads a City of Calgary statement.
"To meet the needs of all Calgarians and to be compliant with provincial Human Rights legislation, customers will have the use of the washroom and change room facilities congruent with their gender identity."
The lifeguard on duty at the time of the alleged incident asked a concerned parent if the trans woman stared at their daughter while she changed.
"What the f*ck difference does that make?" responded the parent. "He was walking around 12-year-old girls with his penis hanging out."
Eisses said his family felt "threatened" and "unsafe" after the ordeal.
"My wife and I were furious that this man would enter and undress, that the pool would allow it, that the police did nothing about it."
"We are upset that the laws of our society do not protect the most vulnerable among us, young girls and children. We are upset that the city facilities are unsafe for children," continued Eisses.
In early March, the city released a statement from CPS stating the allegations concerning the incident were untrue.
"First, the city and police refuse to help us as a man exposes himself to my young girls. And then, they call us liars for reporting it to them and speaking out on social media," said Eisses, who believes the city's response is gaslighting in a severe and public fashion.
Following the alleged incident, people took to social media to shame the parents who filed the police report after the pool staff did not adequately address the situation.
"We are told we are a bunch of angry peasants with pitchforks, hateful, looking for excuses to attack people," said Eisses. "Our leaders have covered themselves in shame."
"Where can parents go if their elected officials and police officers won't listen? When our leaders slander those concerned citizens for reporting the truth?"
Eisses said CPS received multiple reports from eye-witnesses describing the incident. "This behaviour on their part is completely unacceptable."