Follow the Money, Honey
If you know me, you know that I’m all for supporting people and their health and fitness goals; whatever those goals may be and wherever you choose to sweat.
With that said, you probably also know that I am a fierce advocate for inclusion in fitness through my work at OUTWOD and The OUT Foundation.
I have always been a huge supporter of Equinox and of SoulCycle. When I lived in New York, my favorite day of the week was Friday – when I would be able to go to Olivia’s class in NoHo and sweat out my week. Many Equinox and SoulCycle members and employees are my closest friends and allies – and the communities they create on a local level are welcoming, inclusive, rainbow-touting, queer to the max. But the news we’ve learned about the leadership at Related Companies paints a different picture based on who these leaders choose to support with their earnings. And this should give you all pause.
I decided to wait until a statement came from Equinox and SoulCycle before chiming in and, unfortunately, the statement wasn’t sufficient. It was empty. Stephen Ross is still a partner, albeit “passive,” he still receives profit sharing and uses that profit to donate to and further fundraise for a racist, xenophobic, anti-gay, hate monger. Equinox and SoulCycle do not donate as stated in their remarks – which is fine and dandy – but the hard earned money paid in class fees and monthly memberships by MANY members of our community flows upward into his coffers. My advice – if The Related Companies want to put their money with their mouth is – get rid of him.
I’ve seen a lot of posts online today about people contemplating giving up their Equinox and SoulCycle memberships and encouraging others to do so as well. Know this – I will never discourage anyone from staying active and healthy, but – pick a place where you know where your money is going.
CrossFit changed my life and I’ve seen it do the same for many others. The work we’ve done and continue to do with CrossFit’s Founder & CEO, Greg Glassman, and the connections we’ve made with CrossFit gyms around the world who’ve hosted OUTWODs to welcome LGBTQ+ people into safe spaces for fitness are worth your time to check out and they are worth the support of your dollars.
And why? Local CrossFit gyms (known as affiliates) only pay a few thousand dollars to CrossFit each year to use the name. The rest of the money they earn from being inclusive fitness spaces for a diverse membership goes directly to these small business owners.
So – I encourage you all to be wise where you spend your pink dollars, give to those who need them, and what understand where they ultimately go to support.
Check our website at www.outwod.com for a list of upcoming events at gyms across the country who are small businesses choosing to be inclusive and welcome LGBTQ+ athletes inside their spaces. That’s where your money should go – not to helping some millionaire host other millionaires in The Hamptons to help re-elect someone who is only dividing this country.
Yours in truth and fitness,
Founder and Executive Director
OUTWOD and The OUT Foundation