Being Gay and a Personal Trainer

  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 26, 2008 11:24 AM GMT
    So, Ive got a business opportunity to start up on my own as a freelance PT with Fitness Agents working for LA Fitness.

    Despite being - as one would expect- worried and thinking hard about makig ones own wage etc, the only other thing that really bothers me is being gay and in a fitness enivornment.

    A fried of mine in Doncaster had his business ruined twice by idiot jocks and people refusing to train with him or even want to use the same changing room due to him being gay - okay the guy looked like an adonis but had a very unfortunately camp sounding voice.

    At the gym I train at the general banter/comments even amongst the guys I know are rather homophobic which makes it very uncomfortable.

    So....I dont know whether to stay awkwardly in the closet/dont ask dont tell policy or just to say sod it and be open about it. But I am still concerned as sports and fitness are one of the few bastions left of homophobia (.e.g see that Italian football manager's statement on gays in football).

    Any Gay Personal Trainers out there with experience of running your own business and being a GaY PT advice would be very very appreciated.





  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 26, 2008 12:26 PM GMT
    Your sexuality in a work environment is completely irrelevant
    Unless you're sucking off clients in the stockroom which I would suggest you don't do your being gay should have nothing to do with your job
    Now hearing homophobic comments and possible harassment is something completely different
    The way I handle homophobic comments that aren't directed at me is either complete silence or I tell them "Wow, I can't believe you just said that" letting them know that it was an asshole statement
    If it's directed AT you...you don't get involved with them
    You're working for a large Corporation
    You go directly to your supervisor...you tell them the situation ask how they will work to get it stopped and make sure that they know you'll follow up with Corporate within a given time frame
    you do not make this your problem...because it's not
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 26, 2008 12:36 PM GMT
    I know its completely irrelevant whether I am gay or straight at work...but I still intimidated by being gay at the gym.

    I know I shouldnt be but there we are lol.

    I just keep my head down at my gym when some of the PTs use the term "Gay" in a negative sense to make their clients work harder and just ignore them...I dont want to make an issue of it but then probably I should.

    I discussed this with my manager at an interview yesterday and he was of the view that if someone was being a homophobe it was them being stupid and the gym should tell them their attitude is out of line...but at the same time in a gym situation it can be quite hard to discpline people for homophobic attitudes or views. Staff cannot be homophobic and I should report any incidents to them...

    (Either I havent been looking hard enough but I have never met another gay man into sports and the gym, let alone my own sport! Or there are so few of us. lol.)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2008 3:11 PM GMT
    I was a personal trainer and have worked in both straight gyms and gay gyms. You would be much better off working in a gay gym, plus you get SEE a lot more, FLIRT a lot more and in general, you GET a lot more in terms of money and....

  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 26, 2008 5:31 PM GMT
    LOL!

    Yeah its a bit tricky or I gues I am being super-sensitive on this issue. But I think its good to err on the side of caution.

    I have noticed the sexual element to a lot of services offered by gay PTs - especially for sports massage. The expectation its more than just a massage if you know what I mean. Which is wrong.

    Mind you, I'd rather work in a normal gym than a gay one because of this!

    There's also the thing that with my straight team mates on my rowing team they're scared of me eyeing them up, coming on to them etc int he showers....its all a bit sad.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 27, 2008 11:06 AM GMT
    Most homophobes are of two types

    The first group have been brought up that way and have never really seen any gay men except stereotypes from the media
    it's your job and our job as gay men to show these guys that gay men are really just like them and don't pose any threat sexually at all
    the OTHER group are men who know that they have some gay tendencies and go WAY overboard to try an prove their manhood
    these are the guys you have to watch out for and are usually the instigators of violence

    word of advice...don't hang your head when you hear some homophobic comment
    either make no reaction at all or laugh and shake your head
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2008 3:30 PM GMT
    oi oi Ant when did you sneak on board icon_lol.gif

    be yuorself man, I know what you mean but at the end of the day what would be better:

    To act all bravado and seem like the straightest guy in the gym only for a small minded member of the community to see ya out and about and it get back?

    Or to be as good as you know you can be, take on hundreds of women who dont feel threatened and a few curious guys and have them prove you can get them results?

    To me its a no brainer, half of the phobes in the gym would be the muscleheads who havent a clue but think they do and are unlikely to hire you anyway
  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    Apr 27, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    I had a personal trainer who has since moved out to the business. He was knowledgable, and if you saw him you would know, but all he wanted to talk about was his sexual conquests, and the trials and tribulations of his BF problems.
    Personal trainers are like the modern day bartenders, you let the customer opt for the topic.
    Act professionally and nobody should take offense
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 27, 2008 5:04 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidoi oi Ant when did you sneak on board icon_lol.gif

    be yuorself man, I know what you mean but at the end of the day what would be better:

    To act all bravado and seem like the straightest guy in the gym only for a small minded member of the community to see ya out and about and it get back?

    Or to be as good as you know you can be, take on hundreds of women who dont feel threatened and a few curious guys and have them prove you can get them results?

    To me its a no brainer, half of the phobes in the gym would be the muscleheads who havent a clue but think they do and are unlikely to hire you anyway


    Agreed BFG mate.

    Generally the abuse Ive had and my mate whose business collapsed was from the Muscle heads and lads who read all the magazines and believe in the body builder's myths lol.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2008 5:36 PM GMT
    SGA or not, sexuality should be something that doesn't define who you are in your daily life.

    Being a gay PT should matter about as much as whether you like white or Rye bread.icon_neutral.gif

    Besides that, you have to let people have their preferences... it's a business after all.icon_confused.gif
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 27, 2008 6:55 PM GMT
    Preferences yes, but turning you down as a PT becuase of your sexuality? thats dumb, and also illegal!
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 27, 2008 7:40 PM GMT
    How is that illegal? I actually doubt it is. For the most part, individuals who are not representing businesses are free to make decisions on who to hire for services on whatever basis they want. You can choose one neighborhood kid over the other to mow your yard because one goes to your church if you feel like it. You can pick your doctor because you prefer a man, or prefer a woman, or whatnot. Some men might be uncomfortable having a gay man coaching them 1-on-1 on how to get into shape, just as some women might be uncomfortable with a straight man doing the same. Just because we think something's wrong doesn't mean that it's illegal--or even that it necessarily should be.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 27, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    as far as i understand UK law it is illegal to discriminate against someone on groiunds of sexuality in employment or providing services...eg a church cannot decline a gay man or woman a job as a priest or organist etc if they are gay. Similarly, as a PT someone cannot decline my services as a PT due to being gay.

    There are calls from the religious right and political right for an exemption to this, despite it being defeated once in parliament.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2008 8:36 PM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidas far as i understand UK law it is illegal to discriminate against someone on groiunds of sexuality in employment or providing services...eg a church cannot decline a gay man or woman a job as a priest or organist etc if they are gay. Similarly, as a PT someone cannot decline my services as a PT due to being gay.

    There are calls from the religious right and political right for an exemption to this, despite it being defeated once in parliament.


    it is illegal in the states as well
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 27, 2008 8:44 PM GMT
    Cool. That surprises me.

    Have there ever been any test cases?


  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    Apr 27, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    Super Model in some states, yeah, but in others primary "right to work" states. employees can fire you for almost any reason. Federal Government tried to pass a ENDA to cover sexual orientation but still in Congress. Bush has promised to Veto it when it comes to his desk.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 28, 2008 9:29 AM GMT
    LOL! there's a surprise at the veto