Homophobia at the gym

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:54 AM GMT
    I had a disturbing incident at the gym today.

    I'm on vacation in Philadelphia. Anytime I'm on vacation I like to hit the Bally's in the town I'm in. Get a good workout in, see what the gym is like there... and what the guys are like.

    I'll admit, since I don't know anyone, I can let my eyes wander more than at home where someone I know might catch me.

    As I was leaving the shower a guy walking in caught my attention and I guess I stared too long because as he walked around the corner into the shower room he started yelling from the shower room, "Come in here you fucking fag... see what I'll do to you faggot..." and the rest I don't remember...

    I went to my locker and got the most frightened I've ever been. I didn't even dry off, I just threw my clothes on shoved my stuff in my bag and listened intently to the shower... waiting to hear the water stop and looking around the locker room for someone who looked friendly who might "protect" me or at least come to my aid. I rushed out of the gym shaking.

    Now you can assume all you want about, did I stare too long, was I overtly obvious, was I creepily obvious, was I stalking the showers... etc... to which I'll just say that I'm not that guy at the gym.

    The bottom line is that this dude scared the shit out of me today, and for the first time in many many years I found myself desperately wishing I wasn't gay. As I rode the bus back to my sister's place, who I'm visiting for the weekend, I felt horrible - like a lesser person, and even like that guy was right, I am scum, I'm a terrible person for checking him out. I'm almost scared to go back to the city center area, or even to go out for fear of running into him. I'm hoping a good night's sleep and some talks tomorrow with friends will break me out of this fog. But I really wanted to go to a philly gay bar while I was in town to see the philly scene...

    Has anyone else had a homophobic experience at the gym? I wish I could be able to never check another guy out ever. It's like I don't even want to go out here.
  • DanBasil

    Posts: 173

    May 24, 2008 4:57 AM GMT
    Never had it happen at the gym, had an experience like that on the subway. I was reading a gay book, and this guy started yelling in front of me for me to smoke his f-ing cock. Scared me to death, thankfully he left at the next stop, but no one else in the car said anyhting. It was a good shake-up though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 5:25 AM GMT
    There's this "place" that many gay men live today called the "safety zone." The belief that you're safe, secure, that you have overcome and perhaps "arrived." But it is an illusory state and can turn on a dime. You just got a wake up call. Count yourself fortunate to have walked away from this one and don't assume any blame. You were probably in shock when it happened, but you would have been justified in reporting him for harassment. I've not had a similar incident, but have heard loud, homophobic talk from young, straight guys in the locker room and sauna at my gym.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 5:28 AM GMT
    Hey, i'm really saddened to hear about your experience in the gym. You shouldn't feel guilty about checking out a hot guy at the gym, let's face it we all do it.

    This guy shouting at you obviously has his own BIG issues about being gay, perhaps he's a big Mary himself and it's his way of deflecting attention from the fact that he noticed you looking at him. He's probably a big gayer.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

    Big hug and all that softie stuff.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 7:11 AM GMT
    Wow. icon_eek.gif

    Find some buff gay friends fast!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 1:15 PM GMT
    Don't let him rattle you. No matter how well built a guy is, knees are ALWAYS vulnerable, especially if they're straight and locked. Some jerk tries to get violent, a good kick against the kneecap straight in will make him remember you the rest of his life and that fags are not to me messed with. If you really want to be mean to him make the kick from the side. It causes even more damage. We have the advantage, they think we're too much woosy to fight back, surprise him. You'd be surprised at how easy it is. You don't have to be Bruce Lee.

    You have to be careful so as not to actually be guilty of assault though. Had you followed him to his shower and then nailed him you would be guilty. Let them be the aggressor.

    I work out at Ballys too. I have friends who tell me of gay bashers who attack guys in the shower and steam room at my club. I haven't experienced it but I'm ready for the fight. I'm always on the lookout for it, now.

    So Don't let them take your dignity and self esteem. Take their mobility.






  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 1:44 PM GMT
    I am not sure which Bally's you went to in philly but most are notorious for their gay cruising. I guess the guy wanted to get his point across.

    I am sorry you experienced this,but don't let this rattle you too much...be strong. next time just get the day pass to 12th Street gym and you can stare as much and as long as you'd like.

    Who goes on vaca by the way to philadelphia??? icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 1:44 PM GMT
    Yes it does suck and perhaps you overdid the little look thing. No matter what the reason it sounds like this guy was seriously wanting to get his hands on you. The best advice I like to give is to be strong and fight back if you ever have to. I have seen some people get the shit kicked out of them simply because they did not have the balls to fight back. He may have been a lot bigger and tougher but no one is invinsible!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 24, 2008 1:53 PM GMT
    Well first of I would calm down about the whole thing.
    You had a bad experience. Don't turn it into "I wish I wasn't that way".

    My only suggestion in the future is never to get cocky about being gay in the locker room. You don't impress me that way, but I think sometimes we get into our "gay comfort zone". I've caught myself with that... remember you are in a different place with no
    past experience. Meaning... don't look around the locker room, go about you business and exit.

    The guy you encountered is a homophobic prick and is the one with the issue. You didn't mention how big this dude is relative to you. If I ever had someone do that to me, I'd be infuriated and be very tempted
    to tell him to shut his fu*king mouth. I'd probably do it too... or I'd let the first comment pass, but if he were to come out and say anything else, I'd defend myself instantly.

    I'd have also been tempted to report the prick to the gym admin. He might have pulled that with others and they need to know.

    Finally, I hope you can get over this and not have any lasting implications. Go to Bally's as you always have when you are in a different city, just follow the correct p's and q's.
  • kjm1990

    Posts: 209

    May 24, 2008 1:58 PM GMT
    hugs its ok get chizzad an smash him lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 2:51 PM GMT
    I found this website which has a lot of good comments and links:
    http://www.jacksonkatz.com/wmcd.html

    Among the things I found useful is the idea that having a "playbook" of responses helps a person to feel less intimidated in such situations. Most people assume that the only responses available in this particular instance would be physical confrontation or silence. Exploring all of the various outcomes and suggesting more can help. Being alone in a strange city makes it harder, but let's suggest a "playbook" for the particular scenario (I hope other will add plays).

    1. Deflect the comment in a non-confrontation way, by saying something like "I don't know who you think I am or if you think I did something to offend you, but I am just here to work out and if there was any misunderstanding I apologize, and there is no need for you to use such language towards me or anyone."

    2. Challenge the person's right to confront you by saying something like "I am a member here and I have not violated any gym policies, and you have no right to speak to me that way. If you think you do, let's go talk to the management right now."

    3. Threaten the person in a defensive way, like "I don't have any problem with you, but if you don't leave me alone I will make you regret it."

    4. Try something humorous like "dude, what's your problem, and why are YOU looking at ME in the shower." You have to make sure and smile with that one.

    5. Deflect the person by offering them an obvious way out, with something like "excuse me, you must have me confused with someone else" or if it was obvious that you were looking at them, something like "I'm sorry, I thought you were my brother in law." That one's good because it obviously implies that you did NOT think they were gay, and it makes their tiny brain go into overdrive figuring out what you mean.

    I don't know if any of these are good ideas, just that it helps to have in mind a lot of options, and to consider in advance what you don't like about the "bad" options. Always remember that it is your first responsibility to protect yourself, and it's OK to run, lie or say anything to get out of a physically threatening situation. Once you are safe, you can always do whatever you feel is necessary to handle the situation, like reporting the person to the gym management, or confronting them ourself in a situation where you can defend yourself (not naked in a shower).

    Also, don't let it reflect badly on the city. Some of the worst cases of homophobia I have seen have been in some of the most gay friendly places (San Francisco, East Village)


  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    May 24, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    A good defense is to yell back at them in a language you hope they don't understand. Like start yelling back in German:

    Was ist los mit dir? Sind Sie über etwas aufregen? Wenn ja, jemanden anrufen, Pflege, weil meine Frau wartet auf mich - es ist unser Jubiläum. Außerdem wird, wenn ich waren auf der Suche zu einem anderen Kerl, wäre es nicht YOU - Sie freaking hässlich!


    Translation: What is wrong with you? Are you upset about something? If So, call someone who cares, because my wife is waiting for me - it's our anniversary. Besides, if I were looking at another guy, it wouldn't be YOU -- you're freaking ugly!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 3:33 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidWas ist los mit dir? Sind Sie über etwas aufregen? Wenn ja, jemanden anrufen, Pflege, weil meine Frau wartet auf mich - es ist unser Jubiläum. Außerdem wird, wenn ich waren auf der Suche zu einem anderen Kerl, wäre es nicht YOU - Sie freaking hässlich!


    You wouldnt say "dir" in one sentence and then address the same person with "Sie" in the next, would you? "dir" and "du" or "ihnen" and "Sie." And since you are yelling these disrespectful things, I guess it should be "dir" and "du."
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    May 24, 2008 3:37 PM GMT
    Hell, I don't know...I don't speak German...blame the translator on GOOGLE icon_lol.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 24, 2008 3:45 PM GMT
    I think it's rude to be obviously oogling someone in a locker room and honestly don't blame him for not liking it. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable in a place where they are going to be nude.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    You should have complained to management. No matter if you were staring at him for 15 minutes, the guy has no legal right to threaten you. Staring is not illegal. If he got uncomfortable with your looking at him, it's his problem and shouldn't become yours. A simple "dude, please don't stare at me" probably would have done the trick. He was completely in the wrong and you should have made an issue of it with management.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 3:55 PM GMT
    I don't agree with john43620 about very many things, but in this case I think I probably would have gotten pretty aggressive. Very aggressive. That said, the issue is less whether you can succeed in hurting the other guy, it seems to me, than whether you're willing to damage your own body (possibly pretty severely) to do so - and it's a certainty that if it ever came to a physical fight, you would.

    This is all a lot easier to talk about than to experience - especially when you're hotheaded and live in Manhattan, where the gyms are basically homosexual territory anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:01 PM GMT
    skotjockmi saidAs I was leaving the shower a guy walking in caught my attention and I guess I stared too long because as he walked around the corner into the shower room he started yelling from the shower room, "Come in here you fucking fag... see what I'll do to you faggot..." and the rest I don't remember...


    I would say dont get me started, but you already have. ... icon_lol.gif

    Why do we have men's and women's facilities? Because if you allowed heterosexual men in the same room with naked women, you would have a lot more than looking. You would have a whole new class of waifs: Bathroom babies!

    So it is really hypocritical for straights to get all wrapped around an axle, if a gay guy notices another naked guy in a men's facility. Society choose to only recognize heterosexuals. So it threw gays and straights together in the same facility. To then blame a gay guy for noticing what he is wired to notice is duplicitous. Of course, nobody probably even thinks of it this way. We have all lived in a heterocentric society and have never thought of thinking in another way.

    My response might be "hey, dude, nobody did anything to you. Get over it," if I bothered to respond at all. If he continued to push the point, I would push back and make the point, "hey, dude, if you were in a locker room full of naked women walking around, what would you do?" Let him give whatever answer and then I would reply with "I didnt design the society that put us in the same room. If you are gonna walk around naked, you might get noticed. Nobody hurt you, so get over it."

    Now saying as much, locker rooms and showers are not for sex. So one should be discreet, since we do have to share. But if you dont catch your natural impulse in time, dont be too hard on yourself. And then maybe feigning ignorance of what the dude is talking about would deflect the confrontation the best
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    I think it's rude to be obviously oogling someone in a locker room and honestly don't blame him for not liking it. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable in a place where they are going to be nude.

    Why are you supporting this bully's abusive behaviour?

    I don't think you should be fighting or threatening to fight anyone in the gym, that advice is dangerous.

    As McGay said, staring is not illegal, at least not yet. Verbally abusing someone and intimidating them is wrong and he should speak to the management about the guy's threatening behaviour.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    May 24, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    Also, it's not like the guy physically confronted skotjock or roughed him up...he was just yelling from the shower -- there is a difference. Also, I think speaking to the management may be making it into a bigger deal than it needs to be because, again, it's not like the guy was in skotjock's face yelling at him. The best thing to do was probably just ignore it, get out of there, and be more discreet in your staring next time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    I have no patience for that shit. I also have a big mouth. I'm also strong and muscled and can kick the brains out of someone who is aggressive like that.

    I've also been thrown in the slammer a few times for throwing the first punch.

    So you gotta be careful.

    I would have waited for him and ambushed him outside....and then run away so I wouldn't get charged with anything
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:10 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidAlso, it's not like the guy physically confronted the guy looking at him or roughed him up...he was just yelling from the shower -- there is a difference.


    Yelling from the shower is still humiliating to the dude. The guy can just realize he shares the facility with gay guys and if he walks around naked, he might get looked at. BFD!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    May 24, 2008 4:16 PM GMT
    caslon said[quote][cite]CuriousJockAZ said[/cite]Also, it's not like the guy physically confronted the guy looking at him or roughed him up...he was just yelling from the shower -- there is a difference.


    Yelling from the shower is still humiliating to the dude. The guy can just realize he shares the facility with gay guys and if he walks around naked, he might get looked at. BFD! [/quote]





    Agreed, but that said, if you're going to stare at someone to the point that it makes them so uncomfortable that they go off on you, then you have to accept at least some of the responsibility for that. I'm not justifying the jerk's behavior, but merely making the point that skotjock may have over-stepped just a bit and the result was an uncomfortable situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 4:23 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said[quote][cite]caslon said[/cite][quote][cite]CuriousJockAZ said[/cite]Also, it's not like the guy physically confronted the guy looking at him or roughed him up...he was just yelling from the shower -- there is a difference.

    Yelling from the shower is still humiliating to the dude. The guy can just realize he shares the facility with gay guys and if he walks around naked, he might get looked at. BFD!


    Agreed, but that said, if you're going to stare at someone to the point that it makes them so uncomfortable that they go off on you, then you have to accept at least some of the responsibility for that. I'm not justifying the jerk's behavior, but merely making the point that skotjock may have over-stepped just a bit and the result was an uncomfortable situation.


    The OP said he was leaving the shower. How long could he have stared? Not very, I would suspect. It sounds more like the other fellow just noticed the glance and took the opportunity to gay bash, verbally if not physically. This is all based on a hetercentric standard for society, which is not right and needs to change. See my posting above.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 24, 2008 5:18 PM GMT
    Or, just go to the 12th Street Gym in Philly. That's the gay one. Everyone checks out everyone there icon_smile.gif