The transgender woman at the center of a YMCA controversy outside of San Diego said she was “thunderstruck” by the outpouring of support sparked by a teenage girl’s complaint.
Christynne Wood, 66, said she didn’t even know the younger YMCA member had spoken out about her to the Santee City Council until a friend called to offer support and sympathy after the videotaped comments went viral, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“I went, ‘What video?’” Wood said. The friend sent her an Instagram link to a clip of the council meeting.
“I watched it and just started crying,” Wood said Thursday. “Twice this is happening to me? I just couldn’t believe it.”
Rebecca Philips, 17, said she was changing after swimming at the Santee YMCA last month when she noticed a naked trans woman in the locker room. Philips, whose comments sparked protests at the YMCA, mistook the person she saw for a man.
“As I was showering after my workout I saw a naked male in the women’s locker room,’ she later told the Santee City Council. “I immediately went back into the shower, terrified, and hid behind their flimsy excuse for a curtain until he was gone.”
The Santee YMCA closed early last Wednesday after a rally that included hundreds of protesters — including groups that supported Wood and others that were pro-Philips — and brief scuffles. The YMCA is set to close again this weekend.
YMCA officials said facilities around the county were receiving threatening messages, the Union-Tribune reported.
Although Wood and Phillips did not interact at the YMCA, Phillips later told Tucker Carlson that she had seen the person’s “backside.”
“I’m in one of the most vulnerable positions a girl can be in,” she said on Fox News, adding that she felt unsafe in the situation.
It’s not the first time Wood has faced difficulties as a trans woman.
She told the Union-Tribune that a gym in nearby El Cajon refused her access to its women’s locker room in 2018, prompting the state to sue on her behalf.
“The real thing that makes me joyously happy is that the word is out there now that you can’t pull this with the transgender community,” Wood said at the time to The San Diego Union-Tribune.