March 20th, 2012
Like all of us, at some point Michael Keister has heard the following words of advice
It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A
It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A
They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys
It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
You can get yourself clean you can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel
And Keister took these words to heart. He also, it seems, believed that the YMCA is a “place that champions Christian values, such as decency, kindness, and fairness.” So Keister dragged his keister down to the local Y and signed up for gym membership and the associated shower, steam room, and sauna privileges.
But much to Keister’s dismay, he soon became subjected to unwanted attention. First there was one guy soaping up another in the open showers. And then there was the guy in the steamroom who showed Keister his erection and – apparently believing that he received some form of encouragement – proceeded to masturbate.
But the most disturbing incident is reported as follows: (Courthouse News)
“A short time later, after a workout, Keister entered the sauna. No one else was in the sauna when Keister entered.
“Soon, another man entered the sauna and sat down while Keister was reading a newspaper.
“Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, the man reached over and firmly grabbed Keister’s penis, yanking on it, and would not let it go.
“Shocked, Keister grabbed the man’s arm, pried the man’s hand off his penis and yelled in disbelief.
“The man ran out of the sauna.
“Still in shock from what happened, Keister tried to collect himself and chase after the man. He went into the dressing area but could not locate him.”
The failure to locate the man must have been most disappointing.
And for Keister this was a turning point. He began to wonder whether it was safe to bring his 3-year-old son to the YMCA. (Let me briefly interject into this tale to offer some advice: If you are considering bringing a 3-year-old onto a gym floor, into a steam room, or into a sauna, DON’T! This is a serious health risk to children. Now back to our story.) He began to think that when he went to the Y, he should leave his family at home.
And when the next time Keister was at the gym some man propositioned him for a date on New Years Eve, he finally connected the pieces. And he’s so upset that he – and his wife, of course – are suing the Y.
It seems that Keister has realized that the ads which he read in Craigslist and the instructions in Cruising Gays are not just fictional erotica but that some men (most often those who are heterosexually married) actually hook up at such places. And Keister is (unknowingly) encouraging such men to approach him.
Fundamentally, members, such as plaintiffs, and their families cannot engage in routine lavatory behavior at YMCAs without ‘cruising’ men assuming they are signaling a desire for sex. Patrons are unknowingly answering ‘yes’ to solicitations for sexual interaction with strangers while being oblivious to the fact that the question is being posed to them. Its patrons thus are the unwitting targets and victims of sexual crimes, such as the ones suffered by
plaintiff’s keisterplaintiff Keister. [I apologize for the typo]
According to the news report, “the Keisters seek class certification, restitution, and compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.” It would seem that contrary to promise, Mr. Keister indeed did NOT have everything for young men to enjoy, hang out with all the boys, or do whatever you feel.
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Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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