The OUT Foundation's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts stem from the barriers that block LGBTQ+ members from experiencing fitness due to safety and discrimination concerns. Through education, training, and programmatic change, we are constantly working on implementing resources. Our support does not stop until everyone in our community feels safe and welcome in fitness spaces.
Inclusion - Why It Matters
Walking into a fitness environment is already an intimidating thing, especially for folks who have never done it.
The LGBTQ+ community is even more intimidated. Over 45% of LGBTQ+ individuals have felt intimidated based on feedback we have done with our scholarship program and results from a targeted 2019 survey we sent out.
For transgender/nonbinary individuals, that number goes up to 79%.--28% of those folks stopped attending a gym because they felt uncomfortable or unwelcome because of their identity. 51% have been harassed directly or indirectly at a gym because of their identity.
Our LGBTQ+ community wants a space to feel like themselves and not have to worry if they can wear a rainbow t-shirt, come with their partner, use the restroom they want to use, etc.
If you identify as LGBTQ+ and want to participate in an anonymous survey around fitness inclusion, click here.
Inclusive Gym Finder
We know it can be tough finding a safe, inclusive gym - and that it can be really intimidating to walk into a space and not know if it's LGBTQ+ friendly.
Our Inclusive Gym Finder is for anyone looking to start their fitness journey in a supportive community, for those moving to a new city and trying to find a gym where they’ll be accepted for who they are, or for people who are traveling and trying to get a workout in somewhere they know they’ll be welcomed.
In an effort to make fitness spaces more inclusive, we have created downloadable resources for gym owners and coaches. These resources are simple summaries of the best practices.
For assistance or any questions on these topics, please contact us directly. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. More resources to come!
The Huddle on Yahoo Sports, presented in partnership with Athlete Ally was a series of inspiring discussions on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports, fitness, and athlete activism moderated by Journalist Kate Fagan.
Featured Speakers included athletes, advocates, and sports/fitness leaders.
Check it out by clicking here.
Glossary of Terms
For anyone who does not frequently interact with LGBTQ+ folx, terminology can sometimes feel inaccessible or daunting. Please use this glossary to support your understanding of the communities we serve.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, it may change, and we should always be respectful of how folks define their identity because it’s not ours to define.
Abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), and others. The “plus” represents other gender identities and sexual orientations that are not specifically covered by the other five initials.
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People who are transgender may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms. Transgender identity is not dependent upon medical procedures.
Used to describe people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as outside of the male-female gender binary. Many other words for identities outside the traditional categories of man and woman may be used.
An umbrella term used to describe people born with one or more differences in their physical sex characteristics that don’t align with the typical notions of how a “male” or “female” body should look. Intersex people can have a variation of differences in their sex chromosomes, their internal/external reproductive anatomy, and/or differences in how their body responds to or produces sex hormones. These differences can become apparent at birth, during puberty, during adulthood, or never at all. Intersex people are often assigned male or female at birth, but they can be any gender.
Our internal understanding of our own gender, which can be nonbinary, man, woman, transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or anything else. Gender identity is not always visible.
Used to describe people whose gender identity aligns with the sex/gender they were assigned at birth.
A person’s physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction (or lack thereof) to another person.
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Using correct pronouns is essential for conveying respect. Pronouns can include she/her, he/he, they/them, any mix of those, or any neopronouns that one might prefer. For queer, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and transgender people, these pronouns may not fit, can create discomfort, and can cause stress and anxiety. Sharing your pronouns and checking with people about what pronouns they use helps us create welcoming environments for one another regardless of our gender identity or expression.
Don't be an A**hole
We embarked on a nationwide town hall tour dubbed the “Don’t Be An A**hole, Transgender Education Tour” to serve the greater CrossFit, fitness, and general business communities by sharing best practices for ensuring fitness is a safe space for transgender and gender non-conforming athletes.
At The OUT Foundation, we believe it is the least we can do to make fitness a space where people can come to better themselves, to destress, and to take care of their health – no matter who they are.
The easiest way to become an ally to those in the LGBTQ+ community is to educate others, and that is what the Don’t Be An A**hole Tour is all about – education. The town halls we held were part education, part advocacy, and part open question and answer sessions for attendees to learn, connect, and get involved on a larger scale to truly become allies for the transgender community.
To check out the video from our Seattle event, click here.
FITNESS INCLUSION ACTION COMMITTEE
The Fitness Inclusion Action Committee is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ including allies and these folks are gym owners, coaches, athletes, legal and social justice makers, as well as Foundation board and staff. Together, they are committed to making all fitness spaces inclusive.
Interested in getting involved, pitching an idea, or have some questions?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.