For those who were unaware. I am not your typical “fitness industry professional” and today I finally own that fact. I am a black queer trans masculine person and yes “labels” matter when you are carving space for yourself in a world that wants to deny your existence.
I’d like to honor that the word “Fitness” evokes lots of harsh feelings for those of us who don’t embody normative beauty standards. I’d also like to name that marginalized folks (trans, gender non conforming and non binary in this context) are often disconnected from our bodies. However, I believe body-movement can actually be used as a healing component. We deserve to engage in practices and take up spaces that allow us to reconnect with ourselves in ways that feel supportive, not coercive.
There are lots of benefits to working out in a commercial gym, specifically if you find a convenient location and a cheap membership. However, many folks who are gender ambiguous in there presentation (i.e. trans, non binary, gender non conforming, femme guy, butch woman...) working out at commercial gyms can be very frightening, uncomfortable and a downright unsafe place for us.
So firstly, I’d like to define the word “decolonizing” and what it means to me in the context of fitness.
Decolonizing: breaking free from systems, schools of thought, practices etc. that cause us harm, restrict our individual & collective power, remove our right to self determine...as whole, complex, beautiful humans. So what decolonizing also means for me is to reinvent, reimagine, restructure Fitness practices that feel supportive, affirming, empowering.