Just days after the end of LGBTQ Pride Month, a bigoted woman’s offensive anti-trans rant has led to a protest and mini-riot outside a popular L.A. spa.
Andrew Blankstein and Dennis Romero of NBC News reported that the incident started after a woman visiting Wi Spa USA in Koreatown claimed to be offended and started a disturbance at the spa after noticing a transgender woman using the same changing room as she was. The woman stormed to the front desk to voice her bias against the spa-goer and posted the whole incident on social media.
Following the incident, the woman encouraged supporters to join her protest against trans equality in front of the spa, which occurred a week earlier.
Police form a line between counter protesters and protesters, leading to some tense exchanges and minor physical confrontations between police and leftist counter protesters pic.twitter.com/FymuNKpVGz
— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) July 3, 2021
“A few far-right protesters appeared to be outnumbered by those favoring transgender rights,” Blankstein and Romero reported. “Police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly in the afternoon… Officers spread out at the scene, and an LAPD helicopter whirled overhead as demonstrators shouted at each other and, in a few cases, exchanged blows, according to social media video from the scene.”
According to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange, one protestor attacked in the skirmish sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
In addition to conservative zealots participating in the anti-trans protest, social media users noted that there was also an oddly large number of QAnon followers present — likely as a result of Fox News airing the story repeatedly in the previous days.
According to Blankstein and Romero, the absurd and baseless QAnon movement is centered around the idea that there is “a secret cabal of Satanist child abusers in government, entertainment and the media.”
Videos of the protest, some of which are quite jarring, show LGBTQ supporters holding their own against the bigots and include several instances of demonstrators clashing with one another and police. In most of the clips, the bigots are driven away or forced to leave the area by the pro-LGBTQ supporters.
In a statement released following the incident, Peter F. Jazayeri, a lawyer representing Wi Spa USA, said, “like many other metropolitan areas, Los Angeles contains a transgender population, some of whom enjoy visiting a spa. Wi Spa strives to meet the needs of all its customers.”
Defending the actions of the spa and its employees, Jazayeri also pointed out that California law, which is among the most progressive and LGBTQ-supportive in the nation, also prohibits discrimination based on “gender expression.”
“California law prohibits discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming people in business establishments,” Jazayeri said.