‘I was kicked out of the gym for staring at woman working out – but I’m blind’

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    A blind man was asked by gym staff to leave the building after a woman accused him of staring at her.

    Footballer Toby Addison was born sighted but, from the age of 11, started to dramatically lose his vision and by his early teens had lost 80% of his sight.

    The 21-year-old now has around 4% of his eyesight remaining – and it's led to him being in some awkward situations.

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    When he was 17, Toby visited a new gym for the first time, but was approached by a furious woman who accused him of staring at her.

    Toby attempted to explain that he was blind, but she didn’t believe him and called him a creep before getting the staff to kick him out.

    Speaking on the Happy Hour Podcast, the 21-year-old explained: “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.

    “So I was just staring straight ahead and unfortunately there was a woman doing some exercises. I don’t know what she was doing, whether it was some squats or whatever, where you may be in a more vulnerable position maybe and don’t want to be stared at.

    “She came over to me, and I didn't know she was talking to me at first because I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just doing my thing.

    “She said something along the lines of ‘Why do you keep staring at me? Stop. Don’t be so creepy’.

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    “I was like ‘Oh no sorry, I’m blind’. I had my cane with me, it was folded up in my lap but she wasn’t having any of it”.

    Toby added that there is now a culture of trying to catch gym creeps in the act of staring and recording other people during their workouts.

    So he suspects that the woman thought the cane was a prop as part of his disguise to creep on women.

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    At the time, Toby was not confident speaking up for himself so he left the site and never went back.

    He finished by saying: “It was rough, it knocked my confidence a lot and made me feel like being blind is a problem, that it causes problems”.

    Toby has since become a TikTok sensation and regularly posts to his 255,000 followers about his life as a blind person.

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