Rabid anti-trans trolls have issued bomb threats against 53 gyms following Libs of TikTok attacks

Author: John Russell

Planet Fitness locations across the country have continued to receive bomb threats in the wake of an anti-transgender boycott campaign spearheaded by anti-LGBTQ+ hate influencer Chaya Raichik’s Libs of TikTok social media accounts. Media Matter reports that at least 53 Planet Fitness locations in 20 states have now reported receiving bomb threats.

Raichik began posting about the national gym chain in mid-March after Patricia Silva, a cisgender Alaska woman, claimed that her Planet Fitness membership had been revoked due to her complaints about a transgender woman using the women’s locker room. However, in a statement, Planet Fitness said that Silva had been banned because she violated the gym’s mobile device policy, which prohibits taking photos of people in locker rooms. Silva reportedly took a picture of the trans woman in the locker room and posted it online.

Raichik, along with conservative media outlets, picked up on Silva’s story and began criticizing Planet Fitness for allowing trans girls and women to use women’s locker rooms.

In recent weeks, Raichik’s Libs of TikTok X account “has continued to post about the gym, attempting to generate outrage by accusing Planet Fitness of a range of offenses, including ‘discriminating against White people,’ ‘grooming kids,’ ‘putting a mentally ill man’s delusions before women’s safety,’ and allowing ‘people to act out their s*xual f*tishes in public,’” Media Matters reported. “The account has published dozens of posts on the gym, garnered thousands of reposts, and seemingly caused both ‘#BoycottPlanetFitness’ and ‘Planet Fitness’ to trend.” 

Planet Fitness released a statement standing by its inclusive locker room policy. “As the home of the Judgement Free Zone, Planet Fitness is committed to creating an inclusive environment,” the company’s chief corporate affairs officer McCall Gosselin wrote. “Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use the gym facilities that best align with their sincere, self-reported gender identity.”

LGBTQ Nation reached out to Planet Fitness for additional comment on the threats and on Raichik’s posts. “At Planet Fitness, the safety of our members and employees is our top priority, and we take these matters very seriously,” a company spokesperson responded. “We have been working closely with local and federal authorities to investigate these threats and will continue to take action to ensure the safety of our members and employees.”

While Raichik has not explicitly called for violence against the chain, her rhetoric in some social media posts has been extreme and suggestive. In a March 22 X post, she described the “successful” boycott effort as a “bloodbath.”

Raichik’s social media posts have been increasingly linked to real threats directed at the schools, libraries, hospitals, and individuals she has targeted. Media Matters has tracked harassment and threats of violence aimed at at least 43 institutions, events, and individuals — not counting those directed at Planet Fitness — after Raichik posted about them via her Libs of TikTok account. Raichik’s posts have also led to the resignation of multiple educators who have faced harassment due to her online attacks.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently added Raichik to its public database of extremist individuals, organizations, and ideologies.

Planet Fitness is widely known for being a “judgment-free zone,” a welcoming environment where people of all types can exercise without fear of intimidation and ridicule from other members. Its gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. The gym has consistently stood up to transphobic members who harass and threaten trans patrons, even as red state legislators ban trans people from sports teams and school facilities.

Additionally, the chain has observed Pride Month, writing, “We strive to create a community where everyone is included and feels like they belong. Not just this month, but every day.” It has partnered with the It Gets Better Project to support LGBTQ+ youth.

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Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: John Russell

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