Oakland Fitness Expert Runs Nation's First "Queer-friendly" Gym

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    Mar 24, 2015 4:45 PM GMT
    (EDIT: I'm just going to move this to the top, since it might save a few folks some unnecessary and unfortunate keystrokes. Might.)

    dayumm saidFor those unfamiliar with the "Q" of LGBTQ...

    WikiQueer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender.

    Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century.

    Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT...

    In the late-2000s and early-2010s, a number of communities started to use the term queer to represent inclusivity of forms of sexuality, gender identities and intersex status inadequately represented by the LGBT acronym.



    (okay, if you survived that, NOW onto the article...) icon_biggrin.gif


    lgbtq%20gym-thumb-640xauto-12555.jpg

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2015/03/meet_the_queer_latina_owner_of_the_first_and_only_queer_gym_in_the_nation.html

    Miriam Zoila Pérez (ColorLines)...Nathalie Huerta, a queer Latina fitness expert and owner of The Perfect Sidekick, which is branded as the first and only LGBTQ gym in the country.

    ...Her mission statement: “To make happy, healthy homos!”

    ...Huerta became a personal trainer after a post-college summer of working out in a local gym. The Perfect Sidekick idea came out of her discomfort about her own gender presentation: “It wasn’t until I started presenting more masculine [that] I realized what a shithole gym spaces were for people who present differently,” she says. “If I feel this fucking awkward and I’m a trainer and I work in a gym, I can’t be the only one.”

    That discomfort led her to Google “lesbian personal trainers.” All she found was porn and Jillian Michaels, a clear indication that there was a niche that needed to be filled. Five years later and The Perfect Sidekick is a thriving gym that offers branded classes like “Hardcore Homo,” asks about customers’ preferred gender pronouns and queers the language used in workouts.

    “We gender neutralize everything from the bathrooms and the showers to the exercises,” says Huerta. “‘Superman,’ an exercise where you lie on the floor and raise your arms and legs like you are flying has become ‘Superpeople.’ The ‘Indian run,’ where a group of people jog in a straight line and the person at the back has to sprint to the front, has also been renamed because of its racism. Huerta calls it the ‘Unicorn run.’ “When in doubt—name it something gay,” she says.

    Rose Foronda, a queer person of color who is a member of Huerta’s gym, e-mailed with me about what drew her to The Perfect Sidekick: “At TPS you don’t have the weird gym culture where people are either sizing you up or uncomfortably checking you out,” she explains. “Also, I tried Crossfit and I lasted about six workouts. Their gender politics were horrendous. The misogyny was on overdrive and microaggression-filled language was unbelievable. [During] every single workout I heard the words, ‘Men, grab the heavier weight. Women, grab the lighter weight.’

    While The Perfect Sidekick is not explicitly for people of color, both Huerta and Foronda say its customers are multiracial. “We’re in Oakland, which is diverse, and we’re a queer gym. It’s like diversity on crack here sometimes,” Huerta said.


    http://www.theperfectsidekick.com/
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    Mar 24, 2015 5:50 PM GMT
    Well it's..... lesbian. Never could understand the " no self hating " gym
    Marketing campaigns. What does it have to do with working out? I see it at Crunch and Planet fitness.
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    Mar 24, 2015 6:06 PM GMT
    Count me out: all that agit-prop and political rectitude would get in the way of a good workout. She got the part about Oakland being "diversity on crack" right, though. Literally.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Mar 24, 2015 7:35 PM GMT
    This is a joke, right? The first queer-friendly gym in the country?

    Way back in the early 80s, the hardcore musclehead homos in Houston all went to Jim's Gym, an old school grunt-and-sweat place located deep in the heart of Montrose. If a str8 man every walked through that door it would've made headlines. And he probably wouldn't have got out of the locker room with his virginity intact.

    There was at least one place like it in most every major city with a substantial gay population.

    Oh, wait - this is about lesbians? Yeah, never mind. Welcome to the show, honey.

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:32 PM GMT
    As a gay trainer, I have a few clients who are gay and they tell me for them they feel more comfortable working out with me then a straight trainer. Everyone has their 'thing' and as long as they get to gym and a good workout in, thats what matters. I also have a friend who is transgendering and he (female to male) is afraid to go to a gym and be around people he thinks may be judgemental. Again its all about what makes a client comfortable enough to attend a gym.
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    Mar 24, 2015 8:54 PM GMT
    knfqNbb.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 24, 2015 8:59 PM GMT
    For those unfamiliar with the "Q" of LGBTQ...

    WikiQueer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender.

    Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century.

    Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT...

    In the late-2000s and early-2010s, a number of communities started to use the term queer to represent inclusivity of forms of sexuality, gender identities and intersex status inadequately represented by the LGBT acronym.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14343

    Mar 24, 2015 11:07 PM GMT
    I thought that LA Fitness was a gay friendly gym chainicon_confused.gif

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Mar 24, 2015 11:21 PM GMT
    Total nonsense.

    In 1994, when I lived in San Diego, I was a member of a gym that was owned by a gay couple. Probably about 80% of the members were gay. Before that, from about 1980 to 1983, there was another gay-owned gym in San Diego until the owner died of AIDS. Here in Albuquerque, from about 2004 to 2008, there was a gay owned gym. It was closed because on weekends it was a party place and there were liquor violations.

    If I know personally of three gay-owned gyms, it's a pretty good bet that there are many more.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Mar 25, 2015 12:45 AM GMT
    That's a nice gimmick, but there are plenty of gay-positive gyms in the USA. If my gym (Fitness SF in San Francisco) wanted to become any gayer, the staff up front would have to cover themselves in lube and give blow jobs to every member. (They might have done that already, but I missed that memo.)

    They already do free HIV and STD testing up front every month.
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    Mar 25, 2015 1:27 AM GMT
    AaronH20P saidknfqNbb.jpg


    That's a pretty gay-hateful post. I don't find that funny at all. Maybe the other gay-haters we have here will endorse it.
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:10 AM GMT
    Oh, perfect. A queer-friendly gym. Does that mean that I'm required to be friendly? (because it ain't gonna happen).
  • Kovyn

    Posts: 117

    Mar 25, 2015 7:41 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    AaronH20P saidknfqNbb.jpg


    That's a pretty gay-hateful post. I don't find that funny at all. Maybe the other gay-haters we have here will endorse it.


    Are you actually offended by that? Holy fuck.

    dayumm said“Also, I tried Crossfit and I lasted about six workouts. Their gender politics were horrendous. The misogyny was on overdrive and microaggression-filled language was unbelievable. [During] every single workout I heard the words, ‘Men, grab the heavier weight. Women, grab the lighter weight.’


    That's because 99.999% of women can't lift heavy weights are you fucking stupid? I swear to God If I ever meet someone like this in real life I'm gonna load a bar with 2 plates, drop it on her chest, say "push bitch," and watch her suffocate because we don't need people like this in the world.
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    Mar 25, 2015 11:51 AM GMT


    That's because 99.999% of women can't lift heavy weights are you fucking stupid? I swear to God If I ever meet someone like this in real life I'm gonna load a bar with 2 plates, drop it on her chest, say "push bitch," and watch her suffocate because we don't need people like this in the world. [/quote]


    He He...LOL icon_wink.gif
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14343

    Mar 25, 2015 11:59 AM GMT
    CLTMike46 said

    That's because 99.999% of women can't lift heavy weights are you fucking stupid? I swear to God If I ever meet someone like this in real life I'm gonna load a bar with 2 plates, drop it on her chest, say "push bitch," and watch her suffocate because we don't need people like this in the world.



    He He...LOL icon_wink.gif[/quote]Good, valid point.
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    Mar 25, 2015 2:49 PM GMT
    FRE0 saidTotal nonsense.

    In 1994, when I lived in San Diego, I was a member of a gym that was owned by a gay couple. Probably about 80% of the members were gay. Before that, from about 1980 to 1983, there was another gay-owned gym in San Diego until the owner died of AIDS. Here in Albuquerque, from about 2004 to 2008, there was a gay owned gym. It was closed because on weekends it was a party place and there were liquor violations.

    If I know personally of three gay-owned gyms, it's a pretty good bet that there are many more.


    See the post above yours, then re-read the title.
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    Mar 25, 2015 2:50 PM GMT
    dayumm saidFor those unfamiliar with the "Q" of LGBTQ...

    WikiQueer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender.

    Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century.

    Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT...

    In the late-2000s and early-2010s, a number of communities started to use the term queer to represent inclusivity of forms of sexuality, gender identities and intersex status inadequately represented by the LGBT acronym.


    Repeated, for emphasis. Not like it ever matters around here! lol
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:02 PM GMT
    bro4bro saidThis is a joke, right? The first queer-friendly gym in the country?

    Way back in the early 80s, the hardcore musclehead homos in Houston all went to Jim's Gym, an old school grunt-and-sweat place located deep in the heart of Montrose. If a str8 man every walked through that door it would've made headlines. And he probably wouldn't have got out of the locker room with his virginity intact.

    There was at least one place like it in most every major city with a substantial gay population.

    Oh, wait - this is about lesbians? Yeah, never mind. Welcome to the show, honey.


    Exhibit A.
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:14 PM GMT
    Beeftastic saidThat's a nice gimmick, but there are plenty of gay-positive gyms in the USA. If my gym (Fitness SF in San Francisco) wanted to become any gayer, the staff up front would have to cover themselves in lube and give blow jobs to every member. (They might have done that already, but I missed that memo.)

    They already do free HIV and STD testing up front every month.


    Exhibit Infinity.
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:17 PM GMT
    CLTMike46 saidOh, perfect. A queer-friendly gym. Does that mean that I'm required to be friendly? (because it ain't gonna happen).


    Only if you work there! I'm sure they have plenty of b*tchy LGBTQ customers just like yourself pumping iron! icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:19 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    AaronH20P saidknfqNbb.jpg


    That's a pretty gay-hateful post. I don't find that funny at all. Maybe the other gay-haters we have here will endorse it.


    Us cis-gendered manly-men pretty much draw ourselves with our comments, anyway, without the need for 7th-grade bathroom artwork. icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 25, 2015 3:37 PM GMT
    The gym we use doesn't specifically call itself gay, or queer, but that's about 90% of its clientele. In the heart of Wilton Manors, and next door to Georgie's Alibi gay bar & restaurant, It's just a given, and has been for at least 8 years. And multi-racial, too, like this Oakland gym touts, though I'm surprised that would even be an issue that needs mentioning in this day & age.

    If by "queer friendly" that means exclusively queer, then no, my gym has straights, although they're in the minority. So I'm not sure what the fuss is here, or the uniqueness being claimed. Except perhaps: “We gender neutralize everything from the bathrooms and the showers..." If that means complete unisex accommodations, then no, my gym has separate locker facilities marked for men & women.

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    Mar 25, 2015 4:21 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThe gym we use doesn't specifically call itself gay, or queer, but that's about 90% of its clientele. In the heart of Wilton Manors, and next door to Georgie's Alibi gay bar & restaurant, It's just a given, and has been for at least 8 years. And multi-racial, too, like this Oakland gym touts, though I'm surprised that would even be an issue that needs mentioning in this day & age.

    If by "queer friendly" that means exclusively queer, then no, my gym has straights, although they're in the minority. So I'm not sure what the fuss is here, or the uniqueness being claimed. Except perhaps: “We gender neutralize everything from the bathrooms and the showers..." If that means complete unisex accommodations, then no, my gym has separate locker facilities marked for men & women.



    The "uniqueness" is the lack of conformance to gender norms in allowing persons to go and get/stay fit. This gym, as noted in the article and the picture above, is not "exclusive" to queer members, but goes out of its way to be welcoming and accommodating to "queer" customers, unlike the predominant gyms of "gay," "gay-friendly," or "gay-hostile" varieties that RJ posters seem familiar with.