A transgender woman is suing a Manhattan yoga studio for $5 million because she was forced to use the men’s locker room.
It’s the third gender-identity discrimination lawsuit Ali Miles, who also goes by the name Dylan Miles, has filed in the city in 13 months — and could be part of a coming tsunami of trans-rights lawsuits targeting small businesses.
Miles claims to be in “the process of transitioning into [a] woman,” wearing women’s clothing and undergoing hormone therapies, according to court papers.
The Arizona native showed up at Hot Yoga Chelsea on West 27th Street on May 4 for a 5 p.m. class, according to Miles’ latest litigation.
Management prohibited Miles from the women’s locker room and bathrooms — but Miles went anyway, prompting an uproar from other women there, the filing claims.
“Female patrons … complained and yelled at Miles about Miles’ presence and use of the single-sex locker room and bathroom labeled women, and they demanded Miles leave and cease using the facilities,” according to court papers.
One purported witness claimed Miles’ behavior inside the locker that day was alarming.
“We have other transgender people [at Chelsea Hot Yoga], we have several trans women and several trans men, and there’s never been a problem. … it’s this individual,” the witness told The Post.
“This person who claims to be a transitioning woman came into the female locker room, number one, in male shorts that were down to his knees. Although there could be some hormonal addition because his bust is bigger than mine, he did not wear any feminine top to cover his bust,” the witness noted. “He also de-robed, and he is a full male. There’s 150% man. There were things hanging out.”
“It wasn’t even like he was just standing there,” the witness added. “He was crouched down on the floor in front of the shower stalls. It was very uncomfortable for one of the women that was in there and she was completely naked.
“This person started in immediately with reciting the law, and why would you do that? Because this person could see that there were other women, amongst myself, that were notably upset …This person, I don’t know if they come to these places to try to start a problem or whatever.”
Lawyer Peter Sverd also represented Miles in his case against Planet Fitness in the Bronx, where Miles was steered out of the women’s locker room, and another against a homeless shelter in the Bronx where she was allegedly assaulted by a security guard.
A 2016 city law requires places of “public accommodation” to permit visitors to use the bathroom which coordinates with their gender identity, or provide facilities for “all genders.”
Big Apple businesses, especially in Manhattan, are proactively trying to avert any bathroom issues, said Anthony Mignano, a real estate property manager who is not linked with the lawsuit.
“We’ve been informed by our lawyers to change everything … everything has to be a neutral bathroom now to avoid it,” said Mignano, whose company oversees six commercial buildings in Manhattan.
Trans bathroom and locker room claims could sock city businesses with litigation the same way the Americans with Disabilities Act has, one expert said.
The landmark federal bill is the catalyst for hundreds of lawsuits, many in part emerging from discernable “professional plaintiffs” who file dozens of claims and burden small businesses into paying cash settlements.
“This is definitely a trend you can expect to see,” said lawyer Ron Coleman, who is not connected to the Miles case, of trans discrimination claims which could follow the ADA mold.
The difference between the transgender community and the disabled comes down to public support, Coleman added.
“When the ADA was passed a political decision was made that we as a society are prepared to ‘bear the costs’ … in a potentially very expensive and very difficult manner, and I do think that consent existed,” he said. “I don’t believe there is such a consensus for trans people or people who claim to be trans people.”
Hot Yoga Chelsea didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
Trans woman forced to use men's locker room sues NYC yoga studio for $5M. This dude is scary looking to begin with . I can’t imagine seeing this in the ladies room. No shame these people. It’s disgusting and it’s all about the almighty dollar 💵 https://t.co/rr9yAzM6ZK
— celine (@donegalceline) May 20, 2023