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Incident at Spa That Launched Transphobic Protests Might Have Been a Hoax

Protestor carries a transgender flag.

One of the frustrating things about the way news works in this era is that it allows tactics of weaponization to be taken seriously because of the desire we all have to protect vulnerable communities. Back in June, someone on Instagram accused the Wi Spa in Los Angeles of letting a disrobed transgender person into the women’s section of the area. Now, there have been doubts that this event actually happened.

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According to the Los Angeles Blade, a local LGBTQ paper in Southern California, there has been “increased doubt” among law enforcement and staff at Wi Spa if this transgender person was real, or a fictive hoax created to weaponize transphobes. A source at the Spa, allegedly, told the Blade that “there’s no record of any of its usual transgender clients on its appointments guest list on the day in question. Treatment at the Spa is by appointment only, and most of its transgender clients are well known to the staff.”

Transphobic protests have been taking place outside of this spa, and one turned violent over the weekend, with a viral video showing one right-wing demonstrator hitting a filmmaker with a pipe and another pulling out a gun, telling those around him it’s “something to shoot you with.”

In our previous post about this, we shared the statement from Wi Spa, which stood behind its inclusive policy:

“[…] they pointed out that California has a law that makes “it illegal for businesses to discriminate against transgender and other gender-nonconforming people.” They continued on by saying, “Wi Spa strives to follow the law and meet the needs and safety of all of its customers.”

If the supposed transgender customer involved in this incident was made up, some might be asking why? Why create an environment that would lead to violence and toxicity for no reason?

Because transphobia relies on toxicity. It relies on treating trans and gender-nonconforming people like a type of boogie person that will expose themselves to unsuspecting cis people at spas. For transphobic people, this is chum, further “proof” of what cis women are subjected to that whips up their outrage. The person who shared this initial video got the response they wanted. After the alleged, unconfirmed incident, Wi Spa was deluged with 1-star Yelp! and Trip Advisor reviews.

Additionally, trans women are now being targeted, with the Blade reporting, “Prior to the protest, a Los Angeles trans woman was falsely accused by anti-trans feminists of being the alleged transgender person in the video. She received multiple death threats and harassment, including a picture of a masked man brandishing an assault weapon threatening to shoot her.”

All of this while the transphobes claim it’s the cis women who are the ones at risk when confronted with trans women.

The right wing knows exactly how to weaponize inclusion to make it part of a culture war, so hoax or not, they have succeeded once more in hijacking a situation to promote their own toxic ideology.

(via Los Angeles Blade, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.

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