Instagram user “cubaangel” posted a video on 24 June in which she confronted staff at Koreatown’s Wi Spa about their trans policy. Right-wing commentators, including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, amplified the account in the video.
“It’s ok for a man to go into the women’s section and show his penis around the women, young little girls under age, your spa Wi Spa condones that, is that right?” the woman shouts at staff in the footage.
“We can not discriminate against gender identity,” said a member of staff in a clip, responding to the woman’s complaints.
Following the coverage, a protest at the spa took place on Saturday, where brawls broke between trans rights activists and religious groups.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to The Independent that five people were injured during the clashes, but there were no arrests at the protest.
Blade, Southern California’s LGBTQ publication, has since speculated that the video could have been staged by an anti-trans group. The publication reported that anonymous sources within the LAPD explained to them that there is “no corroborating evidence” a transgender person was present on the day of the incident.
The LAPD confirmed to The Independent the viral video was never officially brought to its attention.
Blade also reported that Wi Spa had confirmed that no transgender person was booked in for any treatments on 24 June.
No transgender person can be seen in cubaangel’s footage.
Anti-transgender activists have allegedly targeted women’s facilities to make their argument, including an incident in 2016 at Seattle Pool, when a man reportedly used the women’s locker room.
The Washington Human Rights Commission responded to the incident at the time: “When a man recently entered a women’s locker room at a Seattle pool, his intent was obviously to make the women and girls in the restroom upset and uncomfortable, and to make some kind of misguided point about the Human Rights Commission’s rules regarding equal access to gender-segregated facilities. His behaviour is inexcusable and reprehensible. And it is absolutely not protected under the law.”
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