Allow us to begin by informing you, in case you weren't sure, that Gold's Gym in the Castro is the gayest place on the planet. The second gayest place? That would be Gold's Gym in SoMa. And so it was with great shock and disgust that local Gold's Gym members found out that CEO Robert Rowling (whose company owns the Gold's brand) had donated $2 million to Karl Rove's political campaign group American Crossroads. They're so shocked and disgusted, in fact, that 4,800 have already signed this Change.org petition, and the director of operations for the local franchise, Don Dickerson, who runs the two SF gyms as well the Oakland and Corte Madera branches, is trying to break the contract with the parent corp. and get a divorce. Gold's Gym Los Angeles, meanwhile, quickly issued a statement to make sure its members knew it was locally owned and operated and was not owned by TRT Holdings, Rowling's company.
Following on that hubbub earlier this year in which the LGBT community forced an apology from Target over donations to an anti-gay candidate, this Gold's Gym debacle is the latest example of gays trying to wage political war with their wallets, rather than at the ballot box. And since quitting one's membership at Gold's would be tantamount to getting fat and retiring to Fargo -- i.e. not an option -- the only alternative is for the gyms to secede from the corporation owned by Rowling. As the Dallas Voice puts it, "Apparently the only thing we hold more sacred than shopping at Target is working out."