Gay Man Harassed At The Gym Over His Tom Of Finland Bag

Photo by Arthur Edelmans on Unsplash

One South Australian man says he suffered harassment after he brought a Tom of Finland bag to his gym.

According to the Star Observer, tailor and designer Jeff Trahair is the proud owner of a DIY Tom of Finland bag. He fashioned the kit bag from a shower curtain that contains “very PG Tom of Finland images.” But when he took the bag to the Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Campbelltown, Trahair began to feel unwelcome in his community.

According to Trahair, the fitness center’s management sent him an email on March 26, 2021. The email stated that the fitness center had “received feedback from patrons that some of the attire that you have been wearing whilst in the pool area is not very child friendly.” The fellow patrons and management felt that his bag was “inappropriate” for children and asked him to refrain from carrying the bag to his gym.

“For example, I have personally seen your bag which has a graphic image of males on it as well as a broach of male genitalia,” a follow-up email from April 1 elaborated.

Image via Jeff Trahair

“The images are not explicit sexual ones at all!” he told the Star Observer. “They are all very PG and good fun. I have used the bag for years in all Adelaide pools and never experienced anything like this. In fact, quite the opposite – people usually comment positively.”

As Yahoo News reports, Jeff Trahair dealt with a long email thread between himself and the center’s management. The experience led to him feeling “humiliated and harassed.”

“I now feel very unwelcome and stigmatized attending the ARC,” Trahair said.“It appears to me that the processes you have used have been covert, amounting to not much more than the compiling of a secret dossier about me by a highly opinionated vigilante witch hunt.”

In the end, Jeff Trahair canceled his membership. Though, he added that he’s happy to no longer be wrapped in that negative experience. Despite that, Trahair is considering approaching the state equal opportunity commission to explore justice for discriminatory treatment.


Source: The Star Observer, Yahoo News,

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