1. StillmarriedinCA says

    wow. If I had a Gold’s membership, I would cancel immediately. I have never belonged to any of their gyms. I wonder how many of us who do have memberships will have the fortitude to cancel? If every gay guy that belongs to the Gold’s in Hollywood left, the gym would fold.
    It would be great if Glaad or GetEqual or someone would negotiate a deal with another gym and make it easy for Gold’s members to transfer and then get the word out.

  2. Michele says

    The issue is that Gold’s is a franchise company which means the local industry is going to be hurt by this CEO’s closed minded action. Sad. Sadder even is that there is no way Gold’s or Target are the only corporate CEO’s helping raise funds for hateful candidates.

    This is why every voter needs to research candidate donations and do their due diligence. The information is out there.

  3. Clifw says

    That’s ok, because today Towleroad is running SarahPAC banner ads! Sarah Palin, that noted support of DADT repeal.

    (I know the google ads are automatic, but it does somewhat cheapen the outrage of Golds’ donation).

  4. Frank says

    Isn’t the crossroads where people go to sell their souls to the Devil?

    Maybe we could use the fundies’ superstition against them and get the fundies to boycott the sponsors of the American Crossroads crap.

  5. Tranquilo says

    Some Gold’s are corporate-owned while others are franchised to small business owners.

    The Gold’s in SF are franchised and they are likely to end their relationship when the contract ends.

  6. Joseph Singer says

    All this rhetoric isn’t going to do squat. What will impact the CEO is mass defection from Gold’s. That will impact their bottom line and they’ll take notice. Lots of gay boys use Gold’s. If they have any conscience they’ll cancel their memberships and let Gold’s know why they are canceling.

  7. TANK says

    Isn’t ths the gym where roided out guys get in front of mirrors and lift free weights as they longingly stare at themselves…as if they wanted something more, no matter how buff they get? And then they talk about how awesome the other guy looks as they spot him, occasionally having their encouragement be misinterpreted…”No, dude, I totally said I’d do her, not YOU! I ain’t like that, brah…*ass swat*.” And they get into lifting grunt competitions with each other? I’ve had pets with more personality.

  8. Sargon Bighorn says

    Yes Tank, that is the gym! I would think the MOST effective course of action, but the one that takes the most courage (count out most gay men) is to walk up to the Gym owner/manager and state your case for no longer wanting to pay dues for a Gold’s Gym membership. CEO pushes down, strong buff, attitude laden (see post by Tank above) Gay members need to push back.

    But this all requires a well thought out course of action, a level head, and conviction. Oh well, back to the mirror for more posing, now where did I leave those roids…..

  9. Aaron says

    GOLD’S GYM: TRT Holdings is a complex private multi-holding corporation that owns Omni Hotels, has a stake in hospitality firm Gaylord Entertainment (owner of the Grand Ole Opry and the iconic Opryland Hotel in Nashville), and owns a 2/3 stake in Gold’s Gym International (1/3 is held by a private investor in Dallas), and 1/3 of Waldo’s dollar chain in Mexico. In addition, the company was involved in oil and gas exploration through Tana Exploration Company, which was largely sold off in 1998 resulting in major stakes in both Chevron and PG&E. They also have vast real estate holdings.

    Through his Rowling Foundation he donates large sums to various Christian causes and was a big Bush supporter… Omni Hotels became one of first hotels to ban pornography from in-room entertainment systems!

    However, is likely impossible to prove that one penny of Gold’s Gym membership fees went into the $2 million Rowling gave to Rove, of the $6+ billion he’s actually worth!

    As is the case in San Francisco, many locations are franchise owned and operated. Here is SF the most of their employees are Gay, and they are major supporters of the LGBT Community (Including Pride, Folsom, etc)

    Franchise fees are normal very restricted to accounting services, sourcing, marketing, etc.

  10. StillmarriedinCA says

    @Aaron: But surely Gold’s makes money from the franchises?
    If people cancel their memberships, the gym owners will have the motivation to have a different name above their door and we can quit funneling our dollars to a company that is actively working to deny us equal rights and supporting candidates who spread lies to demonize us.

  11. Terry says

    …was just deciding between 24 Hr Fitness and Gold’s here in SF (been gymless since our Central YMCA closed). This seals the deal. @aaron your points make sense but we have to start somewhere; my consumer dollars, eyeball time, voice and vote are all I got!

  12. StillmarriedinCA says

    I went to the West Hollywood Equinox and Crunch clubs this morning and spoke to their managers about goffering an incentive to make it easier for Gold’s clients to transfer their memberships.
    Even if Gold’s members put their account on hold for a month or two and attend another gym, the dip in revenue will be impossible to ignore. If everyone who believes in equality and is against bullying and H8 stops giving them money for even one month, it will be huge.

  13. mike says

    So, Gym Bunnies. Who among you will be the first to cancel your membership as a protest? Will any of you? Or, is a buff bod for the latest hot party too important to let yet one more heterosexual bigot know that this shit’s got to end?

  14. Scott says

    TRT also owns Omni Hotels. This is the same group that for some reason (which I can’t imagine why they would giventheir politics) hired Margaret Cho for some kind of meeting. They booted her mid-performance.

  15. says

    I go to Gold’s in Hollywood and am NOT happy about this at all. I sent them an email at

    Haven’t heard anything back yet. If there isn’t a strong response to this in the coming week, I’ll be hitting up 24 Hr. Fitness, Crunch and Equinox. Bummer. I liked that gym.

  16. StillMarriedinCalifornia says

    You guys can lay off the gym bunny bashing. It’s a very healthy thing to stay in shape. It’s great for your self esteem as well as your waistline and improves your mood . You should give it a try. No Really. You should. Only the fat and lazy feel the need to lump every gay guy with a gym membership under the label “Rat” or “Bunny” and make snarky comments about them and their “roids”. Stereotype much?
    There are a few that fit those labels to one extent or another, but they are the exception and not the rule. If you ever WENT to a gym you would know that.

  17. pete says

    Bravo… StillMarried! I was thinking the same thing; trash people as an incentive for them to take action… That’ll work, douchebag.

    Thanks for researching that membership suspension stuff. I go to Market & Brannan Golds & I’m totally bummed.

    I feel like we’re getting cornered in America- everyone hates us & seriously what did we ever do but make the world a bit more stylish & fun. jeeesh.

  18. von lmo says

    I don’t care if it’s a franchise or not. If, like Coors, it has the name on the label, I ain’t giving them my $; no matter how unrelated it may be.

  19. says

    More then ever… Republicans candidates are the best money can buy! And if you wonder why
    LOG CABIN GOPS keep supporting the party of anti-gay issues? It’s for one reason only, because they are Rich! It is time to Vote against the party of non-inclusion and make them Republican’ts!

  20. Paul says

    Wow, I can’t believe what people are saying about the SF gyms. Do any of you actually go to these gyms or know how supportive of the LGBT community they are?

    Do what you will with your money, but get your facts right before you do anything that could hurt the community even more. Do you really want to make the gay employees of these gyms unemployed? Will that make you feel like you’ve done some good in this crappy situation?

  21. Edwin says

    Bravo Paul and Stillmarried…..
    Any idea who has been one of the most ardent supporters of the LGBT community in San Francisco. Look up the winners in the Pride parade contests. Yup Golds Gym. So in the last 20 years how many different times has Golds corporate changed hands? 4-5 maybe. The figureheads do not make the company and if you people would get to know the people you are attacking, ie the people who you are going to hurt directly, the franchisees, employees, members, you might think differently.
    Just a thought.

  22. says

    I’ve been a member of the Gold’s here in SF for 10 years. They avidly support the gay community and most of their employees are gay.

    The local franchise(s) here are currently pursuing what their options are for terminating their franchise agreement. Being locked into a contract, just like many members, they can’t just stop paying today.

    Plus the owner is not just the owner of Gold’s gym. The holding company owns a variety of businesses and has ownership stake in others. I’m not justifying it but people need to be informed on all the facts before they jump to conclusions. The first thing you should do is talk to your local franchise Gold’s and find out what they plan to do.

  23. StillMarriedinCalifornia says

    Do you honestly think that Gay Pride Day in SF will end without the support of Gold’s gym? Does some cash to help throw a party one day of the year do anything to diminish the effects of 2 million dollars spent to help elect people ( some of the craziest, most idiotic, most dangerous politicians to ever have their names on a ballot) who hate you and will do anything in their power to see that you suffer?

    That’s right, Edwin, and you should go ahead and shop at Walmart and Target and buy your gas from BP because they have gay employees that might be hurt if you don’t spend your dollars there. Stay at Manchester’s Hyatt hotels even though he gave tons of money to Yes on 8–because some of his employees are gay and might lose their jobs. Buy clothes from companies that use child labor in sweat shops, cause otherwise those kids would be out of a job!
    Do you even know what a boycott is about?
    You take your business elsewhere and those other businesses thrive and hire those gays who previously worked for the offending company. Or the gyms find a different parent company or become independent. And you send the message that bigotry does not pay, it has serious consequences and the next company will think twice before doing something so stupid.
    Or maybe Gold’s gets nervous right away about the bad publicity and POTENTIAL loss of income and they do something to correct the mistake before anybody feels any pain at all.

    I don’t want to spend my money, if I can help it, at a business that is using that money to elect officials who smear me with lies about how disgusting and dangerous I am and will use their power to deny me my basic rights, my income and my dignity.
    If you feel comfortable doing that, well…it takes all kinds.

  24. Edwin says

    Stillmarried: Well I did not mean to start a pissing contest, actually I was applauding your defense of the “Gym Rat” typecasting. To BE CLEAR I am NOT defending Golds Gym Corporate, rather taking a cautionary stance to not lump franchisee(sp?)/owner’s political views and business practices in with the head offices. BUT as a graduate of UC Berkeley I am mildly familiar with protesting and boycotting businesses as a physical manifest of said protest. Further as a member of Golds Gym I have worked out at ALL four of the Bay Area Golds (Market/Castro, Brannan, Oakland and Corte Madera, and have personally felt the climate in those Gyms….they are simply for ALL to better themselves.THey use those businesses to that end, fair and unbiased treatment for members, while additionally supporting platforms that promote those values. NOW PAY ATTENTION TO HOW THE FRANCHISEES IN THE BAY AREA REACT.

  25. says

    Dear Gold’s Gym Members,

    In response to the donation to American Crossroads from Robert Rowling, the CEO of TRT holdings, Gold’s Gym San Francisco Bay Area would like to make you aware of the following:

    We are a local, family run business of 4 gyms. A large percentage of our employees and members are from the LGBT community. Our company works tirelessly to support the LGBT community with financial donations to almost every major local LGBT charity. We are sponsors of the Academy of Friends, Folsom Street Fair, ALCS Riders, SF AIDS Foundation, PAWS, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Maitri, SF PRIDE and many, many more.

    Gold’s Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way. Our original contractual obligations to Gold’s Gym International were signed over 22 years ago and TRT holdings is just the latest in a series of ownership groups that has presided over Gold’s Gym.

    Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in every way possible and we will continue to.

    We were as surprised by Mr. Rowling’s action as anyone but because our company believes in and lives up to the ideals of equality for all we are going to take the following actions:

    1: Our contractual obligation with Gold’s Gym expires on September 15th, 2012 and on or prior to that date (our legal counsel is reviewing our options) we will leave the Gold’s Gym brand. It is a major initiative to create a new brand and leave Gold’s Gym which has been our identity for over 20 years but we will begin that process today.

    2: For every dollar we pay Gold’s Gym in franchise fees we will donate an equal or greater amount to LGBT charities. While we donate much more than this to charities and community groups that support the LGBT community we want to make a commitment to match or exceed this amount until our relationship with Gold’s Gym can be severed.

    3: Our management and staff will continue to support LGBT causes in every way possible and we will use our business as a platform to fight for change and equality for everyone. We have always taken great pride in being a leader in the LGBT community and we will continue to.

    Thank you,
    Don Dickerson Director of Operations
    Gold’s Gym Bay Area

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