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Rumors about Richard Simmons transitioning are disgraceful whether they’re true or not

Richard Simmons checked in to the hospital. But thanks to how the story was reported, the trip to the ER may not be the most painful part of his week. His visit was due to that PR-safe buzzword, “dehydration,” but many outlets are citing an article in the National Enquirer that claims Simmons is transitioning to become a woman. When did it become OK to start rumors like this?

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As People reports, Simmons was hospitalized on Friday and released on Saturday. A seemingly run-of-the-mill incident, but rumors of various levels of believability have been swirling about Simmons since his disappearance from the public eye last year. As People points out, he barely appeared in public in 2014 and was last seen in January.

Simmons’ rep has commented on claims of a gender transition, saying, “He is not transitioning into a woman. He has decided to live quietly the last few years. He had knee surgery a few years ago and has a bum knee. He is still on Twitter and Facebook and works behind the scenes, continuing to inspire and motivate people to lose weight. When he decides to come back, he will come back.”

More: 8 fab photos of Richard Simmons that prove we need him back in our lives

Simmons (or someone with his social media passwords) did indeed post on his Facebook page, writing, “Thank you to everyone who has reached out with love and concern after hearing I was in the hospital. I was dehydrated and needed some fluids and now I am feeling great! Summer is here – drink plenty of liquids. Big hugs and kisses for caring.”

More: Richard Simmons is not ill, he’s in the best shape of his life, says rep

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