I was thrown out of a gym for ‘staring’ — even though I’m blind

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Toby Addison, 21, recalled the mortifying moment years prior when he was kicked out of the gym for “creepily” staring at a woman — despite the fact he cannot see — while on the “Happy Hour Podcast” earlier in June.

Addison, who shares his life as a blind person on his TikTok account, @blindtobes, said he was “minding his own business” during a workout when he heard a woman say: “Oh, do you like the view?”

“Obviously I don’t really know where I’m looking a lot of the time,” the content creator shared on the podcast. “I was just staring right ahead and unfortunately there was a woman doing some exercises.”

The psychology and counseling student was shocked when he realized she had come over to talk to him, adding that he obviously didn’t know what kind of exercises she was doing.


Screenshot tiktok video man using weights at gym.
Addison was at the gym when the incident occurred.

“I didn’t know she was talking to me at first because [I wasn’t] doing anything wrong, ” Addison, who lives in Chichester, England, admitted. “She said something along the lines of: ‘Why do you keep staring at me. Stop, don’t be so creepy.’”

Addison, who had his cane folded up nearby, said he immediately told her he was blind — but she “wasn’t having any of it.”


Young man bending over looking towards camera with dog.
Addison told the hosts he wishes the woman had been more understanding.
Instagram

Man soccer uniform on.
He was kicked out of the gym even though he’s blind.
Instagram

“There’s a bit of a culture around [catching] out gym creeps,” Addison acknowledged.

The active gym-goer knows his eyes tend to “stare into the distance” sometimes when he’s concentrating on something, hence why the woman probably thought he was staring.

“I don’t really know where I am looking a lot of the time unless I am talking to someone like I know that I’m talking to you so I am trying to look in your direction,” he said.

Addison said the woman told him to “shut up” then went and got the manager who asked him to leave.

Thankfully, he was a guest of a friend at the gym that day — and said he has a “good relationship” with the staff at his current gym.

In a TikTok video, Addison said he understood why the woman would have wanted to call him out for making her feel uncomfortable, he wishes she had tried to be more understanding of his situation.

“It’s so sad that some women feel uncomfortable or anxious when in the gym because of a small percentage of people who have acted inappropriately,” he said. “It’s also really sad that awareness around disabilities just isn’t good enough at the minute, and when you mix the two together you make situations like I described way more likely to occur.”

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