Homophobia at the gym

  • xzerox

    Posts: 65

    Jul 13, 2013 1:50 PM GMT
    So i work at a fitness place (gym and pool), and i am currently facing a problem. 5 or 6 Years ago i came out at work by bring an ex boyfriend to a outside of work event. Anyways many employees have left since, so alot of new employees assume im straight (i dont really care if they know or not). Some how the members know, even though i don't associate with any members (so i guess im the talk of the town apparently). A few of the male members that do know make it really uncomfortable for me to go to the gym. Everytime i use a machine next them - because i just need to use the machine- they move away from me like i have swine flu. Its kinda like when you sit down at a lunch table and everyone there gets up. They constantly start laughing every time i enter the gym. They are always staring at me... cuz evertime im looking arround i see their asses staring hard core (and not in a gay way, more in a "let me figure you out"). Plus they are always talking shit in Spanish, which annoys me more because they assume i cant understand a word of it. The reason i know that they know im gay is because of spanish part where the one guy told another "este es joto".


    what do i do? I work here. I really want to confront all of them. I just feel very uncomfortable.


    btw they started acting like this a month ago... Btw part of says ignore but a bigger part of me say cause a scene and go after everyone of them
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    Jul 13, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
    xzerox saidSo i work at a fitness place (gym and pool), and i am currently facing a problem. 5 or 6 Years ago i came out at work by bring an ex boyfriend to a outside of work event. Anyways many employees have left since, so alot of new employees assume im straight (i dont really care if they know or not). Some how the members know, even though i don't associate with any members (so i guess im the talk of the town apparently). The members that do know make it really uncomfortable for me to go to the gym. Everytime i use a machine next them (because i just need to use the machine) they move away from me like i have sars. Its kinda like when you sit down at a lunch table and everyone there gets up. They constantly start laughing everytime i enter the gym. They are always starting at me... cuz evertime im looking arround i see their asses staring hard core. Plus they are always talking shit in spanish, which annoys me more because they asssume i cant understand. The reason i know that they know im gay is because of the speaking in spanish part where the one guy told another "esta es joto".


    what do i do? I work here. I really want to confront all of them. I just feel very uncomfortable.



    Honestly: it's sounds SUPER petty! You either quit or ignore it...
    But them talking about you or staring at you... Really won't make a difference 5 years from now! I say quit
  • xzerox

    Posts: 65

    Jul 13, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    Salacious_guy said
    xzerox saidSo i work at a fitness place (gym and pool), and i am currently facing a problem. 5 or 6 Years ago i came out at work by bring an ex boyfriend to a outside of work event. Anyways many employees have left since, so alot of new employees assume im straight (i dont really care if they know or not). Some how the members know, even though i don't associate with any members (so i guess im the talk of the town apparently). The members that do know make it really uncomfortable for me to go to the gym. Everytime i use a machine next them (because i just need to use the machine) they move away from me like i have sars. Its kinda like when you sit down at a lunch table and everyone there gets up. They constantly start laughing everytime i enter the gym. They are always starting at me... cuz evertime im looking arround i see their asses staring hard core. Plus they are always talking shit in spanish, which annoys me more because they asssume i cant understand. The reason i know that they know im gay is because of the speaking in spanish part where the one guy told another "esta es joto".


    what do i do? I work here. I really want to confront all of them. I just feel very uncomfortable.



    Honestly: it's sounds SUPER petty! You either quit or ignore it...
    But them talking about you or staring at you... Really won't make a difference 5 years from now! I say quit



    they didnt know 5 years ago.. this is recent.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Jul 13, 2013 1:57 PM GMT
    "do you have a problem"

    *z snap*
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    Jul 13, 2013 2:00 PM GMT
    xzerox saidthey are always talking shit in spanish, which annoys me more because they asssume i cant understand. The reason i know that they know im gay is because of the speaking in spanish part where the one guy told another "esta es joto".


    I was dumbfounded at why people in San Bernardino would be so homophobic until I read the "speaking in Spanish" part. Hispanics in general tend to be very homophobic. Machismo is a big part of their culture, so if you're feminine in the least, you'll get harassed to an even greater degree. http://greenheritagenews.com/overt-sexuality-and-homophobia-present-problems-in-hispanic-community/
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    Jul 13, 2013 2:02 PM GMT
    I'm saying 5 years from now, the situation your going through won't matter
  • xzerox

    Posts: 65

    Jul 13, 2013 2:03 PM GMT
    Salacious_guy saidI'm saying 5 years from now, the situation your going through won't matter


    your right...
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 13, 2013 2:10 PM GMT
    Man this sounds like something that would have been discussed in the 1990's. I view anybody who would behave like that as simply ignorant. Public sentiment has so shifted, I would think most people would be offended.

    I might have even encouraged you to find a job somewhere else if the gym management doesn't back you up.. but why the f@$( should you? I would talk to the management and explain the issue, just so they know and I'd encourage "gay friendly" or "gay friends" to apply for jobs there and build up a support group. Those members should be told to mind their own business or depart... or be kicked out of the place.

    Stand your ground.. your "ground" is ever more firm and asswipes like those dudes should change their attitudes or vanish.
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Jul 13, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
    Loosen the bolts on all the machines they frequent.
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    Jul 13, 2013 3:19 PM GMT
    Since you understand Spanish, do you have the confidence to confront them?
    I'm sure management would support you if they were insulting you for fun and you all got into an argument.
    I had something similar in my gym twice. Someone started spreading rumors that I was gay. This bothered me because there was no evidence I was gay. I had no boyfriend nor gay contacts at all. I didn't hit on anyone and I don't think I'm gay acting (there I said it) because the people I tell won't believe me. I was merely older and single.
    I really didn't know how to handle it but I did confront a few people and tell them they were assholes.
    It was mostly upsetting to me because I didn't know how to read people after that.
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    Jul 13, 2013 3:22 PM GMT
    Just ignore and concentrate only on your work, as time goes on they'll stop.
    if you're still uncomfortable, take a mp3 player with you.
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    Jul 13, 2013 3:23 PM GMT
    Rhi_Bran saidLoosen the bolts on all the machines they frequent.


    icon_eek.gif
    You MONSTER !
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    Jul 13, 2013 3:38 PM GMT
    Anyhoo..
    On a serious note..
    .. The 'just ignore them' tactic does not fly with me !
    I call that a 'Band Aid' fix.

    ..You are entitled to a comfortable working environment !!

    ..So what happens when the next gay guy gets hired??
    They'll bash him too?

    And what happens when the next homophobe gets hired?.. I guess they'll just join in on the bashing!?

    ..Send a formal letter to you seniors.. Let them know what's going on!

    ..They sure as hell might not like you..but they need to respect you!
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jul 13, 2013 5:43 PM GMT
    Your work environment is uncomfortable, and it does not seem like it will change. Find another gym to work at, and leave your current employer without giving any notice, and tell them that you left because other employees were harrassing you for being gay. You will be better off, and it might help other gays there in the future.
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    Jul 13, 2013 5:48 PM GMT
    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    He was there for 5 years..

    Shouldn't he do the reverse..
    Let his employers know what's going on..

    Who is to say that he won't face the same problems elsewhere!
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jul 13, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    It's usually easier (and less stressful) just to move elsewhere. His employers probably tolerate the situation (he doesn't say), and filing complaints might bring more harrassment, and not a good reference when he does leave. Not everyone wants to go through an employment discrimination lawsuit - which usually does not bring a good outcome for the discriminated against employee. If this were his dream job that he never wanted to leave - or if he worked for a government agency -that might be a different story. But there are a hundred other fitness clubs he could work for.
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:04 PM GMT
    I doubt I'd have the courage to do this myself, but the next time you here them talking about you in Spanish confront them about it. In particular, do it in Spanish (assuming you're comfortable enough with the language)--it would probably freak them out a bit.
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:09 PM GMT
    lift heavier than them
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:24 PM GMT
    If I were you I would start starring back at them and following them to every machine they go. I would try to work out as close as possible from them until one of them says something homophobic then play your gay card and get them fired.
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:36 PM GMT
    OP: from your first post, it's not altogether clear to me - are your co-workers joining in on this, or is it just members?

    Either way you should probably say something to management ... even though that strategy involves a level of risk on multiple fronts. Only you can decide the proper course.
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:47 PM GMT
    Just don't get your hopes up that management can do much to help you. You don't even know which of your coworkers told these guys, and they aren't actively harassing you; they are shunning you. (and it hurts, and the longer this goes on, the more likely you are to remember it in five years)
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    Jul 13, 2013 6:54 PM GMT
    You shouldn't be uncomfortable with what you do. I suggest quitting this job and going to another, more gay friendly gym in your area.

  • Jul 13, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
    charlitos saidIf I were you I would start starring back at them and following them to every machine they go. I would try to work out as close as possible from them until one of them says something homophobic then play your gay card and get them fired.


    good response
  • daveindenver

    Posts: 314

    Jul 13, 2013 9:05 PM GMT
    so which is it?
    is it employees doing this

    or is it customers doing this? I re read the original post and im pretty sure he said CUSTOMERS.
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    Jul 13, 2013 10:56 PM GMT
    Jeez! This is a problem?? This ain't no fucking problem. This is a great opportunity to face a challenge and become a better man. Suck it up, do the job to the best of your ability, and prove to these bigots you are twice the man they are.
    Believe in yourself--who and what you are. Deal with the adversity and you can reflect with pride in later years.

    You want to find a true hero, a man who was shunned for being different and came out on top?

    When Benjamin O. Davis Jr. entered West Point in 1932, he was given the silent treatment by his fellow cadets. Nobody was assigned to room with him; nobody invited him to eat at his table. Even though he was a top student, that exclusion continued for the next four years. When he graduated from West Point, he was the first black to do so in the 20th century.


    an so you've been slighted. Yeah, I'm so sorry. Time to move on and take it like a man.

    ironnick