Bay Area Chapter of The OUT Foundation Works to Make Fitness Inclusive for LGBTQ+ Individuals
Creating a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ plus individuals to access and participate in fitness, health, and wellness programs.
That’s the goal of the new Bay Area chapter of The OUT Foundation.
The OUT Foundation is dedicated to empowering and nurturing LGBTQ plus individuals’ bodies and minds so they can thrive in fitness and in life.
“Creating healthy spaces where our athletes can feel supported and part of something bigger is really important,” Terence Looi said.
The OUT Foundation Bay Area chapter just launched but it’s already had an impact.
“I went from a toxic relationship with fitness to one that was more healthy,” Looi said.
Terence Looi is the president of the Bay Area chapter board. When he became aware of the National The OUT Foundation, it changed his view of fitness.
“I was more focused on superficial aspects of fitness, what do I look like and things of that nature –to one that is moving well,” Looi said.
Video shows an OUT Foundation event in Southern California back in 2019. Looi says they plan to bring this type of community support for LGBTQ plus individuals to the Bay Area.
“In a city like San Francisco, which is considered a gay mecca, to continue to sow the seeds of community because we can get in a place of complacency,” Looi said.
One way the OUT Foundation supports the LGBTQ plus community is through an athletic scholarship program
The scholarship is awarded to youth members of the community and provides the whole body and nutrition counseling as well as funding to attend a community-oriented gym of their choosing.
“A unique opportunity to have some autonomy and own a fitness journey that someone really wants to be part of to make their own,” Meredith Soto said.
Vice-president Meredith Soto says they raise money for the scholarships through donations and fundraising events.
They’re preparing for their first event on June 20th.
It will be outside and follow proper COVID protocols. They want it to feel accessible to everyone.
“We wanted to provide three different opportunities for people to participate and choose two. A yoga meditation type option, a lifting option, and a HIIT type of option,” Soto said.
The board members tell me they’re still working out all the details of their June 20th event.
If you’re interested or want to get involved, you can find more information HERE.
Interested in our Local Chapters and starting one yourself?
A Local Chapter is a volunteer-led local community group that aligns with the national organization’s strategic plan in implementing support and access to local communities. The chapter’s main objective is to provide fitness, health, and wellness to their local LGBTQ+ community by sponsoring local young adults through the OUTAthlete Program. Other initiatives include fitness events, community socials, and more!