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Help Emma sue David Lloyd

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What happened?

I am a mum of two daughters aged 11 and 13. I feel passionately that they, their friends and all girls should have access to single-sex toilets and changing rooms.

Seven years ago my family joined David Lloyd Leisure York.
We had chosen this club specifically because of our two young daughters (then only 4 and 6) and it was sold to us as family-friendly.

Recently we became aware of growing confusion about boys who identify as girls accessing girls toilets and changing rooms in schools.

This prompted me to ask the operations manager at our club this question: Does our family membership also includes the prospect of our daughters being naked in front of, and alongside, naked, adult men whilst using the “female” signposted changing room?

It took weeks to get a reply. Over and over again I was told that the centre treated everyone with respect, that decisions were made on a case-by-case basis so that everyone was comfortable. I just kept asking the same question again and again, without getting an answer.



The operational manager kept saying that she needed to get an answer from head office to be sure that she was getting it right.

What I didn’t know – but she did – was that there was in fact a male member of the club who was transitioning. It had already been agreed that he would use the enclosed unisex/family changing area until fully transitioned – whatever that meant – and from that point on he would be welcome to use the female changing room.

In March 2023 I received a letter from the David Lloyd regional manager. It said: “Whilst you ask for a straightforward answer of yes or no the answer relates to a topic that is anything but straightforward and David Lloyds maintain to seek the balance of needs and concerns of individual members at club level.”

At a meeting in April 2023 we were shown the UK Active guidance adopted by David Lloyds Leisure. This allows members to access changing rooms according to their “gendered appearance”. No one at the meeting was brave enough to describe what that might actually look like!

I asked if this guidance had recently been adopted. But the David Lloyd staff were adamant that they had always followed UK Active guidance, and this had always been what it said.

Finally we were told that should I or my daughters feel intimidated, threatened or unsafe we should report it immediately to management.

Our girls are 11 and 13. They would be so shocked and humiliated at seeing a man’s penis in their female changing room I doubt they would want to tell anyone, let alone make a complaint. This is clearly not a family-friendly policy.

In accordance with our gender-critical beliefs, we do not accept that a man can become a woman in order to access the female single-sex spaces our daughters are using. I don’t accept compromising women’s and girls’ privacy and dignity in the name of “inclusivity”. It’s not inclusive of us.

Had David Lloyd Leisure made their changing room policy clear to us up-front we would never have joined. We have since taken our daughters and our business elsewhere, namely to Bannatyne Health Club. I have asked them the same question, and they do protect single-sex spaces on the basis of biological sex.

Please support me in holding David Lloyd Leisure to account for misleading their customers. I hope by taking this action we will send a strong message to anyone sacrificing women and girls right to privacy and dignity in the name of 'Inclusivity'.

Thank you very much.


All unused funds will be shared between Sex Matters, Fair Play For Women, Women's Rights Network and Standing for Women'.

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Comments section

Hassan Well done Emma. Keep at it. Best of Luck. Hassan

Alistair This nonsense has to stop.

Barbara Go Emma. Used to be a DL member, played tennis there for years. Wouldn’t enter the door with this policy in place.

Ruth I hope you continue this case and win

Rachel I wish you all the luck in the world with this. It’s insane that you have to take legal action to ensure your daughter’s safety & dignity.

Lisa Sex based rights. Use of the Equality Act to uphold the rights of women and girls to privacy, dignity and respect whilst naked or changing. Sex cannot be changed. David Lloyd’s should adhere to single SEX policy. It is legal. Or do they put men’s feelings above those of women and girls.


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