virgin active, transgender

Virgin Active has responded to safety concerns amid their new ‘inclusive environment’.
Image via Virgin Active

Virgin Active reacts to backlash after ‘man’ is spotted in female-only area

Amid their new transgender rules, Virgin Active has faced flack after a ‘male’ member was spotted in a female sauna and reported to staff.

virgin active, transgender

Virgin Active has responded to safety concerns amid their new ‘inclusive environment’.
Image via Virgin Active

Virgin Active is facing continued backlash after an incident involving a “male” being spotted in a female-only area. This, as the gym introduced a new  “inclusive environment” that permits transgender gym-goers to choose a change room that aligns with their “gender identity.”

The company – founded by British businessman Richard Branson – has faced criticism from the public, who have threatened to cancel their membership amid the incident.


On the X app, Virgin Active members shared their safety concerns after an alarming report.

@FreeInduna tweeted: “Just had a second report of a male in the female steam room at Virgin Active Claremont. Bits out and all. If you do witness this, do not report it to staff. Report it to the police as indecent exposure, please”.

The tweep added: “A granny reported him to the front desk and was just ignored”.

In their response, Virgin Active claimed it had made contact with the affected persons and was treating the incident as “a matter of urgency.”

The official X account also tweeted: “Please feel free to report to the police. However, it is equally imperative that you inform our team at the club promptly so that we can address this matter with the urgency it deserves.”


In their response, Virgin Active also introduced members to its “inclusive environment.” This means that transgender members would be permitted to use areas that are “aligned with their gender identity.”

It said in a statement: “Virgin Active does not permit male members to access female-only spaces such as change rooms at any point.

virgin active, transgender
Virgin Active SA has taken a stance on their transgender members. Images via Facebook: Virgin Active SA/ Pixabay

“However, we are committed to fostering inclusive environments where all members feel valued and respected.

“We fully support members who have transitioned and updated their identification documents to align with their gender identity.

“As a result, access to the change room corresponding to their gender identity is allowed, in accordance with our principles of acceptance and dignity.”


When questioned how they would determine “fully transitioned” status, Virgin Active responded that they would “request further criteria to ensure the process has been completed.”

This would include “necessary supporting documentation, and where necessary medical records.”

Virgin Active also advised any concerned members to use family change rooms and specialised facilities to “ensure a comfortable environment for all.”

All concerns would also be brought before managers.

It added: “We are committed to upholding the principles of acceptance and dignity for all our members.”