LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions
You might not think that sexual orientation has any impact on fitness and physical activity levels. However finding LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions can be especially daunting for those who belong to a sexual or gender minority.
The main barriers to exercise that most of us face are time, cost, motivation and lack of resources. Although those who identify as LGBTQ+ also have to face the fear of discrimination when it comes to accessing fitness sessions and gyms.
Add in the worry about changing rooms, the MASS of mirrors in gym settings and the use of gender-specific fitness goals by the fitness industry (Bulking up for men and losing weight for women). It’s really no wonder that fitness can be an even more daunting experience.
How to find LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions
Searching online for LGBTQ fitness + your local area to find sessions running close to you. Trans Active in Sheffield organise swimming sessions open to trans/non-binary/gender-questioning people of all fitness levels. There’s a relaxed atmosphere with a focus on meeting new people and having fun while being active.
Pride Sports is a national database to find LGBTQ+ sports clubs in your local area.
If you find a trainer or gym online that you think would work for you, look through their social media for LGBTQ+ representation or the use of pronouns in their bios. Some may have a safe space or inclusion policy on their website as well. You can see mine here.
If you can’t see anything then drop them a message or email to ask if they have experience working with LGBTQ+ people. You could use this opportunity to ask if they employ any members of the LGBTQ+ community as trainers or reception staff.
I have recently worked with Raven from Corvus Coaching to ensure that my fitness sessions are safe spaces for all self-identifying lesbian, bi, queer or questioning women, trans women, non-binary/gender fluid people wishing to access a women-centered space, and those whose gender identity includes women some or all of the time. As a result, I have changed my business to be a gender-neutral and inclusive place for all.
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