FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: Small-town YMCAs in suburban Ohio have launched themselves headfirst into the transgender debate by allowing men who “identify” as women to access women’s locker rooms. And women who have belonged to these supposedly family-friendly YMCAs for years are discovering, to their shock, that management considers their safety and privacy inferior to the feelings of men.

Local media broke the news earlier this year that an obese man who allegedly identifies as a woman would not be guilty of indecent exposure since, when he was naked in the women’s locker room, his stomach fat supposedly concealed his genitalia.

Now, for the first time, some of the women whose privacy he invaded are speaking out in interviews with The Daily Signal.

One Ohio mother, who asks not to be identified to protect the privacy of her two daughters, says that she saw the man, who goes by the name Rachel Glines, fully naked and “leering” when she and her daughters were showering and changing in November 2022.

Another local woman, Janell Holloway, shares that she was shocked and startled to find a naked man in her locker room when she went to change in September 2022. She says she unsuccessfully sought help and comfort from the Xenia, Ohio, YMCA’s leadership, only to find that this man had been given permission to use the women’s facilities.

Kateisha Young, an employee of the neighboring Fairborn YMCA, shares with The Daily Signal that this same man, also known as Darren Glines, allegedly assaulted her by groping her genitals in December 2022 as she sought to offer emotional support for his struggles living as a transgender-identifying woman.

And Kyle Kettering, a minister at the Church of the Messiah in Xenia, Ohio, shares with The Daily Signal that his 10-year-old and 5-year-old daughters had seen the allegedly naked Glines from the back while they were in the locker room in September 2022, though it appeared that he was covering his genitals with a towel.

“I was sending my girls in by themselves!” the father said in a phone interview. “That was pretty naive on my part, I guess.”

The Daily Signal learned of these stories through the Independent Women’s Forum. The organization’s storytelling coordinator, Andrea Mew, slams the YMCA’s actions as “disappointing” but “unsurprising” in a statement to The Daily Signal, saying that “the YMCA has once again let down its female members, ultimately stripping them of any commonsense protections.”

“Just like when 16-year-old Abbigail Wheeler spoke out about a biological male in her Illinois YMCA locker room, these women’s dignity and their right to privacy is once again on the chopping block,” she adds. “Thankfully, Janell Holloway came to Independent Women’s Forum with her story because we are determined to prevent woke ideology from silencing and canceling women’s voices.”

Glines has not responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal. Neither the Fairborn nor the Xenia YMCA has responded to requests for comment.

Dale Brunner, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Dayton, refused to address The Daily Signal’s specific questions about protecting women’s spaces and privacy. He also would not address Young’s allegations against Glines but sent the following statement:

The YMCA of Greater Dayton adheres to Ohio and Federal laws and anti-discrimination laws which allow all members access to its facilities and programs.

In addition, the Greater Dayton YMCAs have a strong record of both protecting personal privacy and modesty in our facilities which are both safe and accommodating while serving and including all members of the community equally.

In addition, we cannot investigate an individual’s birth gender identity and then, assign individuals to locker rooms. That would be counter to the law and counter to respect for all people.

We are committed to following the law in order to protect the rights of all members and to protect their right to use YMCA facilities. Should Ohio’s Attorney General provide clarification, the YMCA will always strive to be in full compliance with all State and Federal laws while still serving the rights and interests of all our members.

Ohio Attorney General David Yost said as recently as May that the law does not protect subjective preferences of transgender-identifying individuals and that “allowing men to share bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms with women increases the ease with which biological males—most especially men who identify as men—can victimize women and girls.”

Holloway believes that Glines was acting predatorily when he began using the women’s locker room.

“He was given free access to the women’s locker room to undress and act out any fetishes or fantasies he wants in front of women and girls,” she tells The Daily Signal. “And that’s what was happening. The men need to stay out of the locker room. … It’s not my job, my responsibility to say it, but I’m going to, and I have been speaking out.”

Janell’s Story

On Sept. 26, 2022, Janell Holloway says she was swimming at the Xenia, Ohio, YMCA with her husband, Van, who is a pastor in their community. Also in the pool that day: Glines, one of Holloway’s former tennis players from when she coached her son’s team from 2006 to 2008.

Glines is “very, very obese,” Holloway describes. He was wearing a women’s bathing suit, a relatively new development that Holloway wanted to talk to him about out of concern for how he was doing. But she says he seemed to be avoiding her, and not making eye contact.

By the time she finished her swim, Glines had left the pool, using a walker to “walk from the pool to the door where the locker rooms are,” Holloway says. About five minutes later, she, too, went to the locker room, hung her towel on the towel rack, and walked to the area where the lockers were.

“I could sense that there was someone in the locker room to the right,” she says.

“I glanced over there and I could see the swimsuit that Darren was wearing. … I just kind of froze.”

She saw that his swimsuit was lying on a bench in the locker room, so she instantly turned her back to him, not wanting to see him naked, shocked that he would be in the women’s locker room, and in disbelief that he would be fully undressed.

Holloway scrambled to get her things out of her locker, painfully aware that a man was only a few feet away from her. She rushed into a shower stall and stood there, holding her things, “completely in silence, just kind of processing it all.”

“He is a man,” she tells The Daily Signal incredulously. “I was shocked that they could not know he was a man.”

She stood there with the door to the shower slightly ajar for about 10-15 minutes, waiting for him to leave. If someone had come in, Holloway says she would have spoken to them and warned them that there was a man in the bathroom. No one did.

“When he finished getting dressed, he came towards me,” she says. “So, I pulled the door shut a little bit, so he couldn’t see me, but I assume he might have seen me. … I was in my swimsuit still. He didn’t go in front of my shower stall. He stopped in the area of the sinks, which are kind of between the locker areas and showers, and he was there very briefly before he went back out.”

Holloway says she dressed quickly and went to find her husband, angry and “freaking out.”

“Darren Glines is in there!” she says she told her husband, who was still in the pool. “He has all his clothes off, and he’s in there. He’s fooling the [YMCA]. We’ve got to let them know. They don’t know that there’s a man in there.”

She was convinced, she shares ruefully, that the YMCA was unaware that Glines was using the women’s locker room.

But when Holloway and her husband went to the front desk to speak with the YMCA’s leadership, they were shocked by what they were told.

“Do you know that there’s an adult man changing in the women’s locker room?” Van Holloway reportedly asked a female staff member named Chris Stevens. Stevens paused, Janell Holloway says, and didn’t speak for several seconds.

“Yes, I know that,” she finally responded.

Stevens reportedly shared with the Holloways that Glines uses “she” and “her” pronouns and goes by the name of Rachel. Stevens also reportedly said that the YMCA had told Glines that he could use the women’s locker room, the men’s locker room, or the family locker room—whichever he was most comfortable with (Stevens did not immediately respond to requests for comment).

When Holloway insisted to Stevens, “No, this was Darren. He is lying to you, and you need to get him out of here,” Holloway states that Stevens said that she didn’t know what to do and that the situation had been bothering her for quite some time.

The Holloways were assured that Alan Milkis, the then-director of the Xenia YMCA, would call them. But the night came and went, then the morning and afternoon of the next day, and no phone call came. So, Van Holloway stopped by the YMCA on his way home from work, determined to get some answers.

According to the Holloways, Milkis was not concerned.

“Did your wife see his genitals?” he reportedly asked. “Did your wife see or hear anything that would be sexually inappropriate?”

Milkis, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment, reportedly told Van Holloway that the situation was the type to be evaluated on a “case by case” basis and that Glines’ behavior had been nothing but exemplary.

Janell Holloway says she has not spoken to Milkis directly to this day. She does not believe her comfort or safety were of interest to the YMCA management whatsoever. In subsequent conversations with David Thompson, the vice president of association advancement at the YMCA of Greater Dayton, she says she learned that transgender-identifying individuals have been allowed to access YMCA locker rooms for years.

It appears that most YMCAs set their bathroom policies locally—the YMCA of the USA informed The Daily Signal that though it is the national resource office for more than 2,500 YMCAs across the country, each local YMCA is a “separate and autonomous corporate entity from YMCA of the USA.”

“YMCA of the USA has no control over policies, employment relationships, and/or contractual undertakings of any YMCA,” the organization said in a statement. “The YMCA Movement is not a franchise; each member YMCA is under the leadership and direction of its own local board of directors.  Each member association sets their own policies based upon their state and local laws.”

Thompson reportedly told Holloway that individuals who identify as transgender always want privacy, they don’t want to draw attention to themselves, and they’re not very comfortable using women’s bathrooms.

“That’s the opposite of Darren Glines’ behavior,” Holloway says she told him.

The Holloways terminated their membership with the YMCA in November 2022.

Kateisha’s Story

YMCA employee Kateisha Young shares with The Daily Signal that she initially wanted to be supportive of Glines and his allegedly transgender identity. She knew Glines from her time working at the Fairborn YMCA, where he would occasionally come to swim, and says that Glines had told her that he was interested in men, not women.

But Young says she began to become increasingly uncomfortable when Glines began bringing up sexual topics with her, such as masturbation. Young is married and was surprised that Glines would broach these topics with her.

“When he started sharing his sexual fantasies … I tried really hard to tolerate it. I tried to be open to the idea that it was maybe just an aspect of transitioning,” Young told The Reduxx in May. “I had wanted to be sympathetic and compassionate.”

She had been hearing of some of the pushback at the Xenia YMCA, but since her colleagues had portrayed this pushback as anti-transgender and hateful towards Glines, she had assumed that Glines had done nothing wrong. Her feelings have since dramatically changed.

“I was wrong for overlooking the girls’ trauma at the Xenia YMCA,” she tells The Daily Signal, “and I accept that. I learned a hard lesson through my own experience, and I regret my ignorance very much. I genuinely thought he had simply been in the locker room, not exposing his nudity. But even that, now, seems outrageous to me.”

In December 2022, Young accepted an invitation from Glines to go get coffee and talk about his struggles. She agreed to the invite, she says, because she thought he was enduring antagonism and needed support. So they went to the local Waffle House and talked about some of the backlash that Glines’ use of the women’s locker rooms had sparked.

Young says that at the end of the coffee, she went to give Glines a hug as a way of comforting him about what he had been through. To her shock, she says, Glines groped her.

“He’s really, really large,” she explains. “And I was sitting on the left side of him. And when I went to go give him a hug, I had to stand up a little bit to hug him.”

She says she was wearing a very long, suede coat. But instead of wrapping his arm around her torso for the hug, he began feeling her buttocks: “And then he ended up cupping under … he put his fingers into me.”

Young says she tried to play it cool, though she was distressed—even lighting a cigarette and continuing to chitchat with Glines, who she says had given her a ride to the Waffle House. In what she now understands to have been a “psychological deflection,” Young said that she bragged to Glines that she was getting more fit and was proud of her abs, at which point Glines asked if he could feel her abdominal muscles. She said yes, but then quickly became disconcerted and very uncomfortable by the lingering way he touched her stomach.

Later that day, in a text message exchange obtained by The Daily Signal, she told Glines they could no longer be friends.

“Thanks for meeting me today,” Glines texted her, to which she allegedly responded: “Unfortunately, we can’t do that again.”

“You touched me inappropriately when I hugged you at waffle house,” she wrote. “I’m sorry I didn’t bring it up earlier, but I was unsure at the time. You knew I’m married and have told you before that sexual impressions toward me weren’t welcome. I couldn’t put it out of my mind. It was unwelcome inappropriate touch when you grabbed my vagina and my butt.”

“I am an outstanding friend who has tried to help you, but I realize what you’re doing isn’t right,” she added. “It really breaks my heart that this happened. We can’t be friends.”

Text message courtesy of Kateisha Young.

Young filed a police report with the Fairborn Police Department on Dec. 8, 2022. The report, which The Daily Signal viewed, describes the groping as a “sex offense incident” but states that due to the lack of information about Glines’ legal name before “transitioning into a female,” the case “should be considered closed.”

Glines began coming to the Fairborn YMCA during her work hours, even approaching her desk at work, which prompted her to seek a protective order against him.

On Dec. 27, Young again spoke with police and informed them of Glines’ legal name. She also told the police that since she had initially filed the report, Glines kept coming to the YMCA. “She suspects that he has been trying to find her,” the report says.

The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.

Young’s protective order against Glines, which was granted on Dec. 30, 2022, was active until July, when Judge Cynthia Martin ruled that Glines did not “coerce” Young when he groped her at the Waffle House (Martin’s ruling refers to Glines using female pronouns).

“The court finds that the Magistrate erred as a matter of law in finding [Glines] committed an act of sexual battery,” says the ruling, which also reveals that Glines denied groping Young and claimed that he blocked her number after she said she no longer wished to be friends.

“At this point, I can see that it was manipulation because he was telling me that he identified as a woman, or that he is a woman, and that he is only interested in men, and that was clearly not the case,” Young says. “Even the cop that I filed my report with—he said that was not an accidental touch.”

Children in the Locker Room

The Ohio mother who spoke with The Daily Signal anonymously to protect her daughters’ privacy shares that she had seen Glines at the Xenia YMCA on multiple occasions before she saw him naked in the women’s locker room. Before the incident, she and her daughters were unsure whether he was a man or a woman due to his obesity and the fact that he had been wearing a women’s bathing suit in the pool.

“The girls thought he was a man,” she explains, “and I wasn’t looking at him closely.”

They had heard rumors about a man using the women’s locker room, but this mother couldn’t believe that they were true: “This is the YMCA,” she says incredulously to The Daily Signal. “This is a safe place for kids. They aren’t going to let men in who are pretending to be women.”

She believes it was Nov. 7, 2022, when she and her daughters encountered Glines in the locker room. After they swam, the trio headed into the women’s locker room to shower, slightly “on alert,” since they had been hearing the rumors. The mother got dressed immediately after she showered, instead of heading to the public changing area of the locker room to change.

As she crossed over to the locker area where her daughters’ and her belongings were, she was startled to see Glines in the same area, facing her.

“He’s completely naked and he was facing out,” she says. “I was just totally freaked out … His belly was so big that it was covering his privates.”

The mother, panicking, stepped away and yelled to her daughters to stay in their showers. Her heart was racing, she says, but she didn’t want to speak to Glines while he was naked, so she anxiously brushed her hair and put on her shoes, killing time until Glines was dressed.

She didn’t know what to say. “Are you a woman?” she says she finally blurted out, though she knew he was not a woman.

“Yes,” he allegedly responded.

“Do you have male body parts?” she pressed, to which Glines reportedly responded: “Do you want to see my ID?”

“No,” the mother said, “But I think you would feel more comfortable in the family bathroom.”

At this, Glines reportedly stormed out of the locker room, angrily saying that he was going to go talk to Kim Sheehan, the then-new executive director of the YMCA of Greater Dayton.

“I was rattled,” the mother tells The Daily Signal, agitation still clear in her voice. “Thank God the girls were still in their shower cells and didn’t come out.”

She sought answers from YMCA leadership without much success. Brunner reportedly told her that the YMCA would be sued if they sought to prevent Glines from using the women’s locker room.

And she says that he gave her a paper, which The Daily Signal reviewed, on “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” related to people who identify as LGBTQ.

“Do you have daughters?” she says she asked Brunner. “Do you want your daughters in there with this man?”

Brunner allegedly looked at her daughters and responded: “Your daughters look pretty competent.”

The mother tells The Daily Signal that she was livid.

“I kind of thought maybe he was just fearful,” she says. “But later, things I’ve heard, I think this is just the stand he’s taken.”

So the family filed a police report, leading to Glines facing charges of public indecency.

In January, local outlets reported that Glines was facing three counts of indecent exposure charges stemming from complaints that women saw him undressed in the locker room. Those complaints, according to WHIO-TV7, were dated 2021 and 2022 and dealt with women who “reported seeing a naked male in the female’s locker room.”

One of the complaints stated that three children were present.

But in May, a judge ruled that Glines could not have been guilty of indecent exposure in the YMCA locker room because he was too obese for his genitalia to be visible to others when he was naked, as his lawyers had argued.

Judge David McNamee also said that there was “little dispute as to the facts of the case,” according to The Daily Mail, since Glines had been given permission to use the women’s locker room by the YMCA’s executive director.

“There is no question that Glines was in the women’s locker room,” the judge said, The Daily Mail reported. “However, Glines was not charged with trespass, nor was Glines charged with being in an area of the YMCA where Glines was not supposed to be.”

The judge stated that the facts did not support a finding of guilt, as charged: “Glines’ genitalia was not visible as a result of other portions of her body covering same.”

The mother and her daughters still go to the YMCA—the mother says she doesn’t want to back down and let Glines win. She says that it kills her that she’s paying for a membership and that every time she walks into that YMCA locker room, if her daughters are with her, she makes them wait outside while she checks to see if any men are in the locker room.

“All clear, no men!” she’ll call out to her daughters to let them know it is safe to enter.

It’s a practice that she says has drawn the attention of other women using the YMCA locker room. Some of them are shocked, she says, when she tells them that the YMCA allows men to use their locker room if they wish.

“You see grandpas come in and bring their little granddaughters, and they run into the [YMCA] locker room all by themselves, and grandpa meets them on the other side. Do they know that their little girl could be alone in there with a man? At any time? It makes me furious,” she says.

“I feel stuck,” she says sadly. “I don’t know what to do. I want to do something still to fight it. It just feels so wrong.”

Mary Margaret Olohan is a senior reporter for The Daily Signal and a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

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