Following the banning of an 80-year-old woman from her local YMCA for expressing discomfort in sharing the locker room with a biological male who identifies as a woman who had been escorting young girls in a day camp to the restroom where they undressed, YMCA worker Clementine Adams has seen an explosion in donations to a GoFundMe set up to cover Adams’ transition surgery expenses.
The fundraiser, which has gathered $14,571 of $25,000, was started in February by Adams to cover "two important surgeries [Adams] wanted."
These surgeries are vaginoplasty, which constructs a vaginal canal from existing tissue in the area, and feminizing laringoplasty, which changes the length of vocal cords in an effort to give the patient a higher pitched voice.
While the fundraiser had seen a few donations in the beginning, donations exploded after the July 26 banning of Julie Jaman from her local YMCA pool for taking issue with Adams being in the female locker rooms where she was showering.
"Hi, my name is Clementine. I’m a college student, and I plan on majoring in Elementary Education! Being trans isn’t about changing, it’s about living my truth. In part of doing so, I'm seeking gender affirmative surgeries," Adams wrote on the fundraising page.
Adams had planned to give money in excess of that needed for surgery to charities, but after the recent incident, backtracked on that promise, saying that though the fundraiser was originally intended for vaginoplasty and laringoplasty, Adams might not use the funds exactly as initially laid out
"It’s become apparent to me however that my financial need for my transition expands beyond that. Especially considering the recent incident, I need the help funding my transition more broadly."
"I previously committed to donating extra funds to other charities and fundraisers myself, but after a lot of consideration I’m amending this. If you wish to support the community after I hit my goal set on here, please donate to other charities or fundraisers. I think this is much more practical than my previous commitment," Adams wrote.
The fundraiser originally had a goal of $5,000, but in an August 7 update, Adams wrote, "I want to slightly amend and restate a commitment made on this fundraiser because it’s a little vague: I am still committed to donating anything extra from this fundraiser to charity. But, ‘extra’ may not be everything beyond the $5000 mark I’ve set on this page."
"So to restate the commitment for clarity: After the payments for the two outlined procedures are fulfilled, I will donate any extra funds to charity. This will still (hopefully) end up being about $5000. But I wanted to make that detail clear because my estimates could be incorrect."
An August 9 update stated this new commitment more clearly, "When I originally set a goal for $5000 and committed to donate anything beyond that, I was underselling the true financial need required to transition. This new goal properly represents that need. As for my commitment to donate extra funds myself: I think it’s more practical to instead recommend that future supporters donate to other funds, like this one, after I hit my new goal."
Donators issued words of encouragement to Adams, writing, "Wish there were words enough to counter the evil in this world - know that we're all here with you," and "All the support. You are fearless - let nothing stand in the way of being your truest self," noting Adams' "bravery."
On August 11, the city of Port Townsend, Washington, where the YMCA pool is located, issued a statement saying that "Our city is a place where we strive to provide a welcoming and supportive environment where every person is respected and valued, and where we are committed to fostering a sense of well-being."
"The situation that happened last month at the Mountain View pool is difficult, however, and we need to work together as a community and find a path forward," the statement continued.
The statement noted that the city follows Washington state anti-discrimination laws, including WAC 162-32-060, which states that gender-segregated facilities like locker rooms and bathrooms can be accessed by those who identify as the opposite sex.
The statement also recounts the events of July 26, stating, "A pool patron confronted a YMCA employee (a transgender employee, and a member of a protected class) who was accompanying two day-camp children to the restroom in the women’s locker room. The YMCA has a 'rule of 3' so staff and children are never in groups of fewer than three. The patron made discriminatory and derogatory comments toward the YMCA employee."
Adams’ fundraiser has been shared across social media, with some users expressing their support of Adams, while others criticized the fundraiser, saying Adams is just benefitting financially from the events of the last few weeks.
Photos of Adams shows Adams presenting as male in 2021. Graduation photos obtained by The Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo show Adams prior to becoming Clementine celebrating with others.
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