Posted 5/29/24

Be Part of the Solution

So sad to see community contention deepening regarding a recent event at our local pool. This is a time when, more than ever, we need to pull together, try to understand …

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Be Part of the Solution

So sad to see community contention deepening regarding a recent event at our local pool. This is a time when, more than ever, we need to pull together, try to understand each other, and cooperate — for our evolutionary safety. I’m a survivor of 78 years of gender discrimination. Verbal, physical and psychological abuse, harassment and violence; the methodical and institutional circumscribing of my human rights; contempt and hatred reserved for my gender; shaming, minimization, and put-downs; stalking and depredation; and the vulnerability of being forced to live my life as a second-class citizen.

Coming from this, I could be as unnerved as Julie Jaman to discover what appears to be a man, in a public women’s bathroom – one of the few spaces where we women (prey in our society, remember?) have been able to feel somewhat safe. And the apparent male watching over two young girl clients as they undress? We all have PTSD, a friend says, and our PTSDs interact.

I’m also an advocate for equality, justice, and compassion for everyone. How do we get there in the face of our differences? Every one of us has a life of formative experiences, and a valid viewpoint. Each and every one of us has a valid part of the truth. And a part of the answer to our dilemmas. When we listen deeply to one another with patience, in a supportive environment, our truths can emerge.

When we lay down the sword and there is no fight, no argument, no putdowns, no assumptions, no competition, no winning or losing, no either/or... then we can hear. When we all listen and hear, a way forward appears that includes everyone’s truth, and we evolve. Can we renounce winning? Can we renounce being right? Can we desire what is best for all? Can we be humble enough to understand that all of us together is far more intelligent than one, or even some of us? Can we listen? Can we live in peace?

Alea Waters

Port Townsend


Defending Jaman; Serinus wrong

As part of his advocacy for “Pride Month,” Jason Serinus smeared Julie Jaman in his column “Jaman case tracks with national Trumpian politics” by falsely associating Julie with Trump’s policies and calling Julie’s lawsuit against the YMCA and the City of PT an “abomination” and a “diabolical deed.”

On July 26, 2022, Julie Jaman, then 80 years old, was in the group shower in the women’s locker room at the Mt. View Pool when she saw a man in a woman’s bathing suit watching little girls pull down their bathing suits. Julie, naked and shocked, told the man to get out.

He was a YMCA employee who had been identifying as female for four months; he wasn’t wearing a badge. Rainbow flags and stickers were on the walls, but no signs informed swimmers that men identifying as women would now use the women’s locker room. Instead of using this incident as a teaching moment for Julie, who had been swimming at this pool for 35 years, and as a reminder to themselves to post signs and get waterproof badges for their employees, the YMCA immediately banned Julie from the pool for life. This decision was enthusiastically supported by the feckless PT City Council.

Since the Port Townsend City Council and the YMCA have rejected her requests for a public apology and to let her swim at Mt. View Pool again, Julie is bringing a lawsuit against them. Seeking redress in the courts when we think our rights have been violated is far from being an “abomination” or “diabolical;” it’s one of our most important rights as U.S. citizens. You’d think that Jason Serinus would understand this, since he goes on, in the same column, to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage.

Kris DeWeese

Port Townsend


‘Frivolous’ lawsuit too much

I am increasingly dismayed at Julie Jaman's apparent inability to know when enough is enough. They state that "the rights of women and children are essential,” which is ironic considering the damage their actions are doing to both groups locally by bringing a frivolous lawsuit against the city. I applaud the YMCA for refusing to respond to their demands, and as stated in an earlier letter, hope that the city will not cave. I'm sure Ms. Jaman has incurred some hefty legal fees from CAL's attorneys, which is too bad, but this is cause and effect in motion. An unfortunate situation that could have been easily resolved with a little empathy is just becoming embarrassing.

David Conklin

Port Townsend


Who are the victims?

Ms. Jaman was quoted as saying “I think the core of this whole thing for me is a women and girls’ rights to safety and privacy.” She also said that being kicked out of the pool has been a major loss to her overall health. Apparently, rights to safety and privacy and health only apply to Ms. Jaman.

The rights to safety and privacy of the young YMCA staffer and the girls she was escorting to the restroom have been ignored by Ms. Jaman. It’s possible they may have suffered a major loss to their overall health when Ms. Jaman barged in on them when they had the right to expect privacy and when the staff member had her privacy invaded by Ms. Jaman’s questions about her body. Who are the victims here?

Renee Bush

Port Townsend