Gyms are often a place of comfort, where people can go to de-stress and stay physically active. As such, it is important to make sure that all gym-goers feel welcome and respected no matter who they are or how they identify. One way you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community at your gym is by understanding the basics of gender identity and expression. Let’s take a look at how you can be an ally in your gym and make sure everyone feels included.
Create a Welcoming Environment –
One of the best things you can do to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ members at your gym is simply being kind and respectful. This includes using people’s preferred pronouns when addressing them, as well as refraining from making assumptions about someone’s gender based on their appearance. It’s also important to not comment on people’s bodies or gender expression if it doesn’t directly involve you. Creating a safe space for people to express themselves without fear of judgement or discrimination is essential for creating an inclusive atmosphere in any space, especially the gym.
Be Aware of Gender Neutral Spaces –
Gender neutral spaces are becoming more popular in gyms around the world, but it’s still important to be aware that not all gyms have them yet. If your gym does not have gender neutral spaces, you can help support this cause by speaking up! Start a conversation with your local gym staff about why having gender neutral spaces would be beneficial for everyone, and suggest ways that they could go about implementing them. Be respectful when bringing up this topic; remember, nobody likes being told what they should do! Instead, emphasise why this change would create a more welcoming environment for everyone who visits the gym.
Educate Yourself –
Having conversations with those around you is one of the best ways to learn more about different topics related to gender identity and expression, including those related to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s important to take some time out of your day to read up on different topics related to these topics so that you can be better informed when engaging in these conversations—this will also make it easier for you to recognise instances of discrimination or micro-aggressions against members of the LGBTQ+ community at your gym so that you can speak up if necessary! Additionally, consider attending events hosted by organisations dedicated to empowering members of this community; these events are great resources for gaining knowledge about this issue as well as meeting like-minded individuals who share similar goals for creating safe spaces for everyone regardless of their identity or orientation.
Being an ally means standing up against injustice and discrimination wherever it may occur—especially within our own communities—and doing whatever we can do ensure that everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves authentically no matter where they go or what they do. We have seen first hand through recent events just how powerful our voices are when we come together in solidarity with those facing oppression; now let’s use that same energy in our own neighbourhoods and communities. By understanding basic concepts related to gender identity and expression, creating welcoming environments through simple acts of kindness towards others, advocating for greater inclusion through speaking up about issues related specifically to our local gyms, and educating ourselves further on these topics we can become effective allies who strive towards making positive changes every day. With collective effort we can create inclusive spaces where everyone feels welcomed regardless of their background or identity—so let’s start now!