Metro Weekly

Planet Fitness Faces Boycott After Banning Anti-Trans Member

Right-wingers demand boycott of gym chain for banning a customer who took a photo of a trans woman in a locker room.

Planet Fitness – Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr, Creative Commons License

A Planet Fitness gym in Alaska banned an anti-LGBTQ woman who photographed a transgender member who was using the women’s locker room. 

Patricia Silva, a life coach from Fairbanks, Alaska, posted a public Facebook video on March 11, in which she claimed to have seen a “man shaving in the woman’s bathroom” at the gym, reported the British tabloid Daily Mail

“I realize he wants to be a woman, he gets to be a woman,” Silva said in the video. “I love him in Christ. He’s a spiritual being having a human experience. He doesn’t like his gender, so he wants to be a woman, but I’m not comfortable with him shaving in my bathroom. All right. I just thought I’d say it out loud.”

In a follow-up post, Silva recounted her story, saying she was in the changing room when she first spotted the trans woman, whom she described as a “man with a penis” and shaving in front of a 12-year-old girl.

She told the person that they should be using the male locker room, to which the trans person allegedly replied that they were “LGB” — or as she later said in a later video, “queer LGB.”

“Whatever that is, nevertheless, I told him ‘You’re a MAN and you’re invading my space!'” Silva wrote. “He wanted to argue to justify why he can be there… I walked away… 

“I stepped out of the locker room and loudly asked the front desk, ‘Are you aware that there is a MAN shaving in the women’s bathroom… I’m not OK with that!?’ The two men standing at the desk, put their heads down, and their tails between their legs! As I was walking out the door…at my back, a woman shouts ‘it’s a girl’… I shouted back ‘it’s a man!”

“Needless to say, NOT OK!!” she concluded.

Silva’s story was eagerly picked up by right-wing websites and news outlets, and amplified on social media by the anti-LGBTQ account Libs of TikTok. 

Silva posted a subsequent video on March 12, repeating her story and claiming that she felt like she was in an “unsafe space.” She threatened to report the incident to police.

In that video, as well as an accompanying post, she said that she was contacted by a person from Planet Fitness informing her that they were canceling her membership.

She responded with another Facebook video post.

“This my friend is how planet fitness retaliated against the women who enter the women’s locker room,” she wrote. “They canceled my membership because I complained that a MAN was shaving in the women’s locker room, while a young girl wrapped in a towel, naked frightened in a corner sitting on a bench.

“I made my complaint against this man in the women’s locker room, and planet fitness canceled my membership,” Silva continued. “Yes, they did save me the time from having to do it myself but at the same time, it is not OK that they chose allowing a man in the women’s locker room, rather than to remove that spectacle from that space.”

Silva later posted — either writing in the third person or appearing to quote a Truth Social post — about her interaction with Fairbanks police. After she showed them the photo of the trans individual, they reportedly told her that she had no grounds to pursue a criminal investigation because the individual identifies as a girl.

“Male perverts with a penis are allowed in the women’s locker room, regardless, if they have verification of being transgender or not,” she wrote in another post. “In my opinion… If you were born with a penis, you are not allowed in the women’s locker room, and women’s sports, nor in the children’s storytime room… Help me bring down these perpetrators and close the doors to child molesters.”

Silva – Photo via Facebook

Silva, a former candidate for Fairbanks Borough Assembly, has previously made social media posts ranting about Drag Queen Story Hour events and embracing QAnon-style conspiracy theories — which typically allege that President Trump is fighting against government elites who are part of a global cabal of pedophiles.

She appears to be obsessed with the idea of pedophiles lurking around every corner, and frequently refers to the transgender woman at Planet Fitness as a “pervert.” She has reposted several AI-generated images of Planet Fitness on fire.

There is no evidence that the trans woman in the locker room was engaged in any indecent or lewd behavior.

The photo taken by Silva, which was posted on the right-wing website The Gateway Pundit, shows a clean-shaven individual at the sink dressed from the neck down in black, with a towel around their neck. Despite Silva’s attempts to get police involved, there is no evidence of a crime.

Planet Fitness later filed a police report against Silva for photographing people in the locker room — which, incidentally, was the rationale the gym used for canceling her membership, arguing that it violated the gym’s nondiscrimination policy.

That policy states that employees cannot discriminate against transgender people unless a “serious concern or significant doubt” about their identity arises.

“If it is confirmed that a member is acting in bad faith and improperly asserts a gender identity, they may be asked to leave and their membership may be terminated,” the policy states.

The policy also states that transgender people are to be treated and addressed according to their gender identity in all interactions, and encourages members to report any instances of harassment or discrimination.

Since Silva’s membership has been canceled, some right-wing figures have begun calling for a boycott of Planet Fitness, reported Newsweek.

Libs of TikTok called for a boycott of Planet Fitness in several different posts.

“Time to give Planet Fitness the Bud Light treatment,” one user replied to Libs of TikTok, referring to a successful boycott of the once-popular beer brand for partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a marketing promotion. 

Other users gloated at a decline in Planet Fitness’s stocks over the past week.

“Wow @PlanetFitness, it looks like letting men into the women’s locker room where they can spy on them while they change (including underage girls) is NOT super popular!” wrote producer, director, and right-wing activist Robby Starbuck, posting an image showing the company’s stock price plummetting.

X owner Elon Musk also replied to Libs of TikTok, writing, “Planet Fitness sounds like a creepy place.”

“Dear Planet Fitness, Our restrooms/locker rooms are not your social justice front,” wrote another X user. “Sincerely, Real Women.”

This is not the first time that the company’s policies have come under scrutiny or criticism from conservatives and anti-transgender activists.

In 2015, a Michigan woman sued the gym for terminating her membership after she complained about the presence of a transgender woman in the women’s locker room. The case was dismissed, only to later be revived by the Michigan Supreme Court, allowing her to move forward with her lawsuit for breach of contract. 

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