Karen Deamons wants to use the women's locker room, like a normal woman. Deamons is transsexual - she presents herself and lives as a woman.
"But because he has not yet had sex-change surgery .He is still a man ."
But because she has not yet had sex-change surgery, Cleveland officials insist that she change clothes in the men's locker room of the indoor pool at Cudell Recreation Center, after they received complaints from a few women who said Deamons made them uncomfortable.
For more than a year, Deamons, 53, followed the mandate. But now, after an embarrassing question from a boy in the men's locker room, she's fighting the city.
She filed a gender discrimination complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and is urging the state legislature to pass an introduced bill that would bar cities from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Twenty states have passed similar bills.
"I can't do it anymore," Deamons said. "Every time I go through there, it's tearing my insides out."
Cleveland Law Director Robert Triozzi said the city's decision does not constitute discrimination.
"We are being as accommodating as we possibly can, given the request that's being made, given her own personal situation, given where she's at in life," Triozzi said. "We're trying to be sensitive."