We are proud of the diversity of backgrounds our oUTAthletes come with, and we work diligently to provide them with the resources they need to succeed in fitness, health, and wellness.

get to know their stories here.

OA's Web Portrait (2)

“I’ve always been someone that isn’t afraid of the spotlight. It’s never been about being the center of attention, but about having the most fun I could possibly have. It’s about being happy. I’ve always had it easy, but in 2019 life hit everyone pretty hard. Yup the C word. COVID! For my family there was another C word looming in the shadows… CANCER! Unfortunately, my mom was diagnosed with cancer that year and in October of 2020 she passed away. Before my mom passed away, I applied to be an athlete with The OUT Foundation. I had completely forgotten I even applied when I got the email that I was accepted into the program. I was in a deep hole of depression in December 2020. The OUT Foundation helped me climb out of that hole by giving me the opportunity to be an OUTAthlete. I was able to go to the gym, socialize, and sweat! I’m not the same person I was before The OUT Foundation. I’m a little scared of the spotlight now, but I do my best to put myself out there. If it weren’t for this program, I truly don’t know where I’d be. Everyday is a struggle- but I’m closer to happiness with the family that has been built with this program.

“I am a full-time PhD student and part-time worker, and for me that means that I have been working extremely hard every single day, but taking no time for myself. The OUT Foundation has really helped me take a step back and look at the things that I value most in life and make sure that I’m centering those things as much as I center my work. 

I sought this program in hopes of being able to find a way to reintegrate exercise back into my day to day as an investment into my mental health and wellness. Lifting has always been a practice of wellness for me, and boxing has always been a practice of discipline. In everything that I do, I work very hard. I think the OUTAthlete program has helped me to look at my hardwork and actually take the time to enjoy what good it brings me. Sometimes it is very easy to keep pushing through, particularly for BIPOC queer folks, but we do need to be able to take a second to find joy in our accomplishments, communities, and in ourselves sometimes.”

OA's Web Portrait (3)
OA's Web Portrait (4)

“I’ve become more happy and strong through the OUT program. I never thought that I would turn into such a gym rat. 

I used to feel like an imposter stepping into the gym. The sea of confident, fit bodies intimidated me. I was always second-guessing, worrying if I was using the equipment correctly, or if I was even wearing the right clothes. Imposter syndrome was my constant companion. But the OUTAthlete program helped me see past these insecurities and showed me that everyone starts somewhere (and that every expert was once a beginner).

My fitness journey led me to United Barbell, and I couldn’t be happier about it. My daily routine now includes lifting weights, but it’s not just about growing physically stronger. It’s about the sense of achievement, the personal growth, the inner strength that comes from pushing your limits, setting goals, and smashing them. The OUT Foundation has also given me great nutrition counseling with expert coach Mike Molly at M2 fitness. 

Before joining OUTAthlete, a lot of this felt inaccessible to me. First, going to a crossfit box is super expensive, especially in an expensive city like San Francisco. Secondly, gyms don’t feel safe for a lot of queer people. I had tried in the past to go to a CrossFit gym, but it felt very straight and macho. I didn’t feel welcome when I saw the MAGA hats in the CrossFit box I tried before. Now I feel very safe and comfortable sharing my queer experience and challenges that we’ve all faced at some point.  

I’m thankful every day that I can do this because of The OUT Foundation.”

“Being part of the OUTAthlete program has provided me with incredible support at a time where my health and wellness have become such central aspects of my life. Engaging in fitness activities— particularly CrossFit and soccer— have become such sources of joy for me, not only as great ways to stay healthy, but also in finding vibrant communities of love and support. Some of the closest friends I have now, I’ve met through these communities. And even more personally, access to regular exercise through the OUTAthlete program has equipped me with an important tool that has helped me cope with mental health challenges like depression and anxiety.

As someone who loves sports and fitness, but always felt like an outsider or that I didn’t belong because of who I am as a queer AAPI man, being an OUTAthlete has helped me grow in so many ways not only as an athlete, but as a human. I’ve been inspired by the mentorship and support of my fellow OUTAthletes, which has helped build up my confidence enough to compete at my first local CrossFit competition — and pushed me to continue challenging myself to expand beyond my comfort zone and grow in and outside of the gym.

I’m incredibly grateful to be an OUTAthlete and am inspired to help other LGBTQ+ folks like me see themselves for the amazing athletes and humans they truly are.”

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You can support the OUTAthlete program and future LGBTQ+ athletes by donating to The OUT Foundation! You're contribution will help us support OUTAthletes in the program today and in the future.


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