make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Beach club revokes transgendered woman's membership

READ MORE: Beach club revokes transgendered woman's membership

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Changing from man to woman brings on another change: member to outcast. The Hanover Seaside Club is tight-lipped over allegations it would not renew a transgendered woman's membership.

"It was sad when they did it, and I'm sad that it's gone through like this, and I just wish that they would do the right thing and let me have my membership back," said Rachael Gieschen by phone as she vacationed in Yellowstone Park. Her quick comments reiterate why her attorney Michael Silverman is fighting to get her membership to the Hanover Seaside Club back.

"One of the things that struck me about Rachael's story is when she told me about her feelings for this club, and what she told me was, 'I love this club. I've been a member my whole life. It's been in my family. My children are still members,'" Silverman said.

Gieschen, who now lives in Raleigh, contacted Silverrman a year ago. He said Hanover Seaside Club sent Gieschen a letter saying members were uneasy about her transformation to a woman, particularly when it came to the restrooms.

"The clubs position has been that Rachael makes other people feel uncomfortable, and as a result don't want people to be there," Silverman said. "And they've been firm about their postion. So so far, they've been unwilling to reconsider."

According to Silverman, Gieschen's family helped found the private Wrightsville beach club on South Lumina Avenue. A friend from Greensboro, who's also been recognized by the Human Rights Coalition for his advocacy for the transgendered community says the situations been difficult on Gieschen.

"This really is not right to exclude her from this organization when her family has been so actively involved for so many years," David Parker said.

When we went to go find answers about the alleged revocation of Gieschen's membership, we were directed to the club's president, who over the phone said, "The club is not going to make any comment." Members and board members we ran in to, also refused to make a statement.

Gieschen and her lawyer are hoping they can avoid a lawsuit by coming to an agreement with the club. We were promised a phone call from the Hanover Seaside Club's attorney. Instead, the club's president called to say no comment.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



This is a sad situation all th way around. I have read the posts on here and hate the situation for the family and the Club.

While the Seaside Club is a private, not for profit club, and you have to pay a membership fee I believe they have every right not to renew a membership for whatever reason. I do know people who are members there and they will never let their membership run out because it is a nice place to eat, have gatherings etc. There is a long waiting list to become a member and the fees are high.

While I do feel for R, I do think this was not the proper way to bring light to the cause. I do believe the club offered ways to settle this situation but those went unaccepted. Even the family did not want his to be in the public eye.

And I don't think all the hate responses on here are warranted. Irregardless of the sitation with R, they still have feelings and are still a person, someone's family member. I think this is an issue with members of the Seaside Club and R not for us to make our own judgements. And no, that comment is not meant to be in support of either side.

club membership revoked

How truly neanderthal and lost in the past this club's leadership is! They need to grow up, wise up and get with the program! This is the 21st century, not 1947 for gawd's sake. EVERYone at that club should not just accept this woman as any other woman but should RESPECT her and quite frankly, if they were in any touch with reality, ADMIRE her! A club with leadership like this should be sanctioned or fined for even considering such blatant discrimination! What a bunch of ignorant, antique elitist jerkwads! Assuming that its true that cis-women would be uncomfortable with a transwoman in the women's room, who ARE these ignorant, stupid, uneducated cis-women!? What do they have to even think they have grounds to worry about or be uncomfortable about? What a bunch of ancient minded, phobic, repressed, hung up excuses for real women these pencil width brained biddies are. This transwoman is easily without question more of a true and real woman than these freaks who happened to be born with vaginas. These biddie bumpkins may as well be men, and men who belong to the KKK really. I can't believe so-called women like these club hags even still exist! What a joke they are!

Disregarding the narrowminded definitions of sex and gender...

... which are not supported by the modern medical establishment (no matter how many times you cry, "but SCIENCE SAYS SO!"...)

I'll pose a hypothetical, because there's another side of the issue that apparently isn't being considered: trans men. Rather, female-bodied people who identify as male and transition to living as a male, oftentimes undergoing masculinizing HRT and transitioning to living as men. If you've never met a trans man... well, you're likely mistaken. Look up some photos if you like - these boys are quite butch. (In fact, I know many who take great pride in their prodigious facial hair - wouldn't you if you had to wait your whole life to get it?)

So! Ladies who are so incredibly offended that someone wants a safe space to take a piss: would you prefer that we strictly regulate based on genitals? Because two things need to happen then - firstly, there's gonna be a surprisingly large number of dudely-looking dudes with vulvas queuing up with you for the loo. And just to make sure everyone's where they're supposed to be, there's gonna have to be a monitor at the door - walk up, drop trou, and once examined you can relieve yourself.

... Of course, that wouldn't happen, because we don't ACTUALLY gender people based on what's between their legs. We base it on what we -think- they are... and we're not always right.


If one of the main issues is that she is a "man" and female members are uncomfortable with sharing the bathroom with her, why don't they just let her use the stall in the men's room? Nothing there he/she hasn't seen before. Problem solved.

Won't work

He/she considers him/herself to be female and wouldn't want to use the mens room.

A Life Lesson

Gieschen has a right to do what Gieschen pleases, as does the Hanover Seaside Club, insomuch as both are private entities.

Concerning the feelings [of comfort and/or approval (or lack thereof in this case)] of people everywhere, know this: A person isn't "made" to feel anything by any other person. Regardless of the adversities we encounter, each able-minded human is responsible for controlling his/her own emotions and thoughts; formulating any excuse(s) otherwise is an illustration of ignorance.

The life lessons here? We should all live and let live. Be at peace inwardly and outwardly while showing a little intelligence, compassion and acceptance along the way. In the end, issues like these don't really matter. Each of us is born and will one day die, regardless of such things as "gender."

He/She can take all the

He/She can take all the hormones, can have all of the body parts they want chopped off or added on. When all is said and done, you cannot replace DNA and genetics. If He wants to believe He is now a She that's fine but it is far from scientific truth. And if it makes the majority involved here (REAL women) uncomfortable to have this person in their restroom, then the majority should rule.

What I really wonder about in this and all cases like this is why would He/She want to force everyone to accept them into this place where no one apparently wants them to be? I think it is all about filing a frivolous lawsuit. Maybe He/She needs a little extra cash to finish the job.

I'm neither male nor female

That's right, I'm neither male nor female I have 47 chromosomes. An extra X, I'm XXY this makes me neither sex/gender. Where do i fit into your rigid gender role thinking?? Nowhere??? I think not. "I think, Therefore I am." I exist, that you can not deny. I think, act, feel, and respond like a woman, and that's how I live. NO ONE can tell I'm not 100% percent female.

This is a clear cut case of discrimination. Just like private clubs for rich, white men were forced to accept blacks as members on civil rights laws contained in section 1 of the 14th amendment, also known as the equal protection clause, This club will be forced to accept this transsexual woman in the end, and most likely pay a heavy penalty for violating her civil rights to equal protection contained in the constitution. It is this same amendment that will end the ban on gay marriage in the states that seek to abridge the rights of minority citizens. It reads as follows:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This is the law of the land, not the bible, not the club rules. No matter how many people at this club wish this women not be allowed, or are uncomfortable with her presence, it can't legally happen. Just like the the vote on prop 8 in California is going to be over turned later this week. In spite of the referendum being voted into law by the people of that state in the democratic process, it abridges the rights of minority group, and is discrimination. The constitution trumps all. As much as some would like, the people can not supersede the constitution.

God Bless America!!!!!! LOVE IT, OR LEAVE IT


I agree on your points BUT, why would he/she WANT to be somewhere that doesn't except or want he/she there? I wouldn't want to be there, why cause the stress for others or yourself? A club is suppose to be fun and relaxing, a place to socialize with friends and acquaintances. This wont happen so why bother making a big deal out of it. Get over it and move on to another place where you are appreciated.

He/she choose this lifestyle change, the people at the club did not.

When the law..

of the land doesn't serve the people..... things will get ugly.... Love it or leave it? That's just asinine. The USA has been a work in process since it's founding. Remember how it started? Why did it start? What was the outcome?

Think about it......


DNA? Thats exactly way she has transitioned! Transgendered people cover a huge spectrum. Many many TG people have non typical chromosone configurations XX and XY are typical male and female many transgendered people have XXY XYY etc. There are also many women who are born female, but have XY chromesones. These women are natal women who appear and live typically female lives. But according to Guest1111 they are not women?

There is some deep down that defines us as men and women, have some compassion for people who to deal with problems like these.


Although you probably upset someone... You're absolutely right, and I agree 100%.

I don't understand how 1 person's confusion should change everyone else's lives.

There is an answer

I believe the ones that speak out the loudest against homosexuals, if the truth be known, have homosexual tendencies, hidden curiosities, or have secretly been in some kind of homosexual relationship and feel a need to hide it by speaking out so loudly against such things. When a woman uses a public bathroom, how do you know whether the woman next to you is straight or not? How do you know what she is thinking about you? The same goes for men, how do you know if the guy standing beside you at the urinal is straight or not? How do you know what he is thinking about you? Did this man have a sex change, or is he just cross dressing? Does he feel he is a woman on the inside that is trapped in a man's body? How are we suppose to know these things? You cannot look at every gay or lesbian and tell immediately what their sexual orientation is, just as you cannot look at any straight person and tell if they are really straight or not. Sure, with some it is obvious, but not with all. If Rachel is only dressing like a woman, then "HE" needs to use the men's bathroom, but if Rachel has had a sex change operation, then "SHE" needs to use the women's bathroom.


Who said this person is homosexual? Not all trans-gender people are homosexual. Some are not sexual at all.

Has this person had a sex change operation or just dressing like a female? Assuming not or we would be discussing trans-sexuality.

I am very open minded, have had a lot of gay/lesbian gender bending friends and would treat him with the utmost respect but he will always be a man to the majority of people that knew him before the change.

With this drastic change he made comes a lot of other changes, losing membership in this club is one. This man cant really expect everyone to welcome him with open arms, get real ! I wouldn't expect it and he shouldn't push it on others. New gender, new life.

Either way, I would not want to be somewhere that people felt uncomfortable with me. Thats just me.

I hope he manages to find what he needs inside himself. Best of luck to you.

Alright, my turn

Here's what I believe. You're theory fits perfectly in your little mind. Yeah, way to turn it around on everyone who doesn't like homosexuals. They must ALL have tendencies too, right?

What a rather unintelligent idea you have there. It'd be great for you if there was any reality to it whatsoever.

However, you're doing nothing but distracting yourself from the fact of the matter.

A transexual is neither a male or female. They are a TRANSEXUAL. No, they weren't born that way, they CHOSE that lifestyle. With every choice is a consequence. This is it.

Why should 99% of the population change to accomadate the 1%?

Come up with another (and this time make it valid) arguement.

Beach Club revokes membership

First off, the "ownership" of the Club? The members own the Club so there won't be a change of ownership.

Second, I am another of R children and I am one that has been trying to tell our story to the media. Why? Because I am tired of the selfishness of R. I am tired of being a victim of R's selfishness I guess is a better way of putting it however the media isn't interested in hearing this story. They have taken a great deal of pleasure is trying to make the Hanover Seaside Club look like a big mean bully when in fact it's R and Michael Silverman that are the bullys. There has been no regard for the feelings of long time friends, associates or most importantly, family. Sons, daughters, sisters, grandchildren, people that R is suppose to love. Somewhere, he has forgotten that he is a parent, a brother, an uncle, a son and instead has gone charging head long into this after family asked and begged him not to take it into the public arena. He blatently ignored the pleas.

Angry, humiliated, embarrased. Those words begin to scratch the surface of emotion that my family feels. Betrayal in another. There are a few that don't feel as strongly granted. There are a couple that after these actions have been swayed to these emotions.

When R see the children that were still speaking to him and when he is/was allowed around his grandchildren, it was as his male self, not as Rachael. The Seaside Club, according to one of my siblings, offered him his membership back if he came down as his male self, keeping in mind that his transition has not been complete.

The Seaside Club is no more a place of closed minded people than Independence Mall is. Then your own office is. Look around you. Hell, look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.

While this did begin as a private matter, it has not stayed a private matter and I don't think unfortunately they are going to let it fade into oblivion but I just hope that those of you that are sitting there stamping your feet against the "injustice of it all" stop and think about this, this is a many faceted thing and you don't know all the sides to it. R is only one and it's the one that his attorney wants you to know.

Wait a minute

This isn't a QUIRK, or something cute or funny this person is doing. No one says you can't be a he/she. Do what you want with your own life. But please stop pushing your beliefs on everyone else. You want to be in a club that likes he/she's? Go make one up. Oh wait, maybe every place in the world should have a separate bathroom for the people who can't be normal.

I can't believe they are surprised by this? Women don't want some MAN in the their locker room, and women aren't supposed to be in a MAN'S dressing room.

This he/she created the situation for themself/themselves. Now deal with it. You have to recognize you are going against 99.9% of the populations norm by doing something so DRASTIC.

This wasn't an accident. Now deal with the consequences.

What's the problem? If she

What's the problem? If she is a woman now, use the women's restroom. Pretty simple.

Do you have a daughter?

Do you have a daughter? Would you be comfortable with a man going into the womens bathroom with your daughter. He dresses as a woman an that is it, male parts are still there.

Actually, no, I don't have a

Actually, no, I don't have a daughter. However, I would assume if I did and she was old enough to be a member of a "club", she would probably be familiar with whatever "parts" a male might have. This is the 21st century....many places have family or unisex restrooms now. It is about time to get out of the dark ages.

What are these "Dark Ages" people are referring to?

Surely you aren't suggesting that we still uphold standards common in the Middle Ages?

It's a nice cliche term to use, and it makes you sound "new-age" but it is an empty phrase.

You are upset that someone doesn't agree with you, to allow everyone to live together happily ever after so you use this neat little phrase.

The problem is, 99.9% of the population doesn't participate in this lifestyle. Why force them to change their habits for a select (confused) few? There are a couple people who are so confused in life that they must change who they are to be who they aren't. And now they demand acceptance. If this were truly the Dark Ages, they wouldn't be a problem for long. So you ask people to "Get out of the Dark Ages..."

No, you aren't allowed to use phrases like that because they have no meaning. Come up with a valid arguement. Then come up with some meaningful catch phrase of your own.

Life isn't a bunch of fairies dancing around in the forest wearing women's clothes and peeing in the wrong restroom. Not everything is going to be perfect for the people who live a perverse lifestyle.

People aren't going to like you. Throwing a tantrum about it won't help. If you are so different and you've accepted it, then LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE.

It's obvious they can't handle who they "really are."

yeah, but

But saying "Why force them to change their habits for a select few..." Why should a great many of people be able to force the select few to change their habits? It's a double standard. It's the epitome of phobia, intolerance, and bigotry not to mention other things. Clearly, she has to be something that she feels she is not in order to go to this club (one of which many of us aren't privied to join). A blatant disregard to her life and what the club has meant to her and vice versa. don't don't make one lick of sense. What are you babbling about? By getting out of the Dark Ages, it means simply to move out of an antiquated, backward way of thinking. It means to accept things that might have been unacceptable many years ago, to be a progressive thinker. Holy crap....they walk among us.

Moral Decline

This is proof positive, take notice when you hear these liberal talking points being spewed that our society is truly in a moral decline. You brain-dead liberals need to stop projecting your lack of values on those of us who struggle to maintain a sense of decency and integrity, while you denegrate us as archaic and steadfastly promote your ideas as "progressive" and "forward thinking". The liberal media has brainwashed you people into thinking that ideas of conservatism and traditional thinking are dirty ugly words. It's true that time tends to ebb and flow allowing viewpoints and ideals to change to reflect the status quo, just take heed that you don't rush headlong back into the times of Soddom and Gammora. Your ideas that there is nothing wrong with these things will come back to haunt you or your offspring, as evidence directly submitted in some of the other posts. I'm not saying people with high moral values do no wrong, but let's call these things like they are; wrong, and ultimately a detrement to productive society. If you want to be different for whatever reason, so be it, it is your life to reap or suffer the repercusions. Since when though do we have to be forced to accept it or even deal with it in our own private setting(s)? Just lately (really) because of all the extra attention it is getting, I am getting so sick of all the whining for equality, in the real world there is none. When God makes us all androgenous, same color, same size, same intelligence and exactly the same in every way, then you can create your perfect Utopian society. Until then we will handle things as nature and God intended. And while I'm on a rant, for that matter, all you people getting subsidies and kick-backs, and ammendments, and grants do so because you are weak and incapable of surviving on your own in normal society. We are taking care of you, because you aren't able, what gives you the right to condemn our way when it is us and our relentless efforts for survival and productivity who provide for you? I say accept our traditional values and way of life or go start your own "club" somewhere else, until then we consider you all to be encroaching on our otherwise viable and proven model.

antiquated meaning...

Now you are using "anitquated"... good job. You found a new word to make what you say sound important.

If by antiquated, you mean majority since this "antiquated" way of thinking happens to belong to the majority of people who don't see a need to change.

Those fruitcakes who want to change to world to be more accepting of them should consider the natural laws of survival. You adapt to be like everything else to survive. You don't change your environment.

If you were half as

If you were half as intelligent as you think you are, you would understand one of the basic laws of the world we live in. That is change is inevitable, and whatever does not change as well, will become extinct. I don't personally care for gays or transvestites, but as long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs or way of life on me, I don't have any problem with them. Seems like there are those that are so super-sensitive that they are afraid of anyone else that might not share their views or be a little different. You might try growing up a little and think outside the box occasionally. Do you still live in Mommy's basement?

Maybe you didn't read the article

that you so eagerly commented on. The he/she is upset because they won't keep her membership in the club. It is whining because people don't want to change their way of life (i.e. bathroom habits) to accomodate this individual.

You so graciously just provided proof that you enjoy making an emotional comment more than a rational one.

"I don't personally care for gays or transvestites, but as long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs or way of life on me, I don't have any problem with them."

What do you think he/she is requesting the club to do, if not to change their current ways to accomodate him/her and the other people who would like to keep their current bathroom habits??

As mentioned

As mentioned before...install a unisex toilet. Then whoever wants to use it can without all the boo-hooing.

Now there

is a rational idea. It's a possibility. But I suspect the single toilet bathroom isn't the only grounds for the debate. Shall we make a special locker room as well?

There is no reason for a

There is no reason for a separate locker room. The ones making all the fuss need to get over themselves. It would really be interesting to poll all the female members of this "club" and determine how many of them have real concerns. It seems like by reading the comments, that all the female members have a problem, but is this really the case? It might be just a couple overly-sensitive members, and the rest might not care one way or another. The story itself implies that the club revoked her membership quietly, so apparently they were unsure of their actions to begin with.