Gendered spaces

Someone wrote…

How do you navigate aggressively gendered spaces, like gym locker rooms? I want to get in shape and work out, but no gym near me has a single-stall bathroom.
I’d just exercise outside but sometimes it’s cold, rainy, etc. I can pass in street clothes, but to work out you generally wear less and need to breathe.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on October 9th, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Gendered spaces”

  1. Keelin

    I will often make sure I save myself enough time to go in their already changed and then go home shower and change, so I don’t need to use the locker rooms.
    What locker room are you hoping to use and if you are worried what are you personal barriers.


  2. Joss/Ames

    I have this problem as well. I’ve found that investing in a small set of weights–maybe two dumbbells just within your strength and two just outside that for starters–and exercising even in just your room or a small enclosed, relatively private place can be quite helpful, at the very least as a stop gap. You can find a lot of good workouts online or in magazines like Men’s Journal/Men’s Health that can be adapted to work the same muscle groups without major equipment. I’m actually writing this between reps as I work out in my college dorm room. :)


  3. Adam

    Joss/Ames is right, youtube has a million beginner routines that you can follow at home, if going somewhere to workout isn’t for you. Yoga would be my choice to start if I was starting all over again. Yoga classes are a great place to start if you’re looking for a “gender positive” environment, and can easily be done from home once you get the hang of it. My locker room anxiety was quite high ten years ago, I’m male, 30, and I’ve been swimming consistently my whole life. That means busy, packed locker rooms with group showers. Now for people who identify as the opposite gender this might not seem like much, and I totally understand, but to a quiet, genderqueer guy this has always made my anxiety skyrocket, which is the reason I swim in the first place. One day a friend, a very good friend, gave me some great advice, she said,”fuck’n just walk in like you own the place, hold your head up, try it and see what happens.” For me, it worked. The male locker room is not a place where I feel at home, at all, but now I’m more comfortable there than at the grocery store. and I realize that this is probably useless advice for most people here, but if it helps even one person, however you present yourself, it’s worth it.


  4. rikku

    At my gym, there are notes around, stating that “at times, staff members of the opposite gender might need enter the locker room”. It’s supposed to be okay, but it bothers me that people get reminded of this and not the fact that genderqueer persons might need to enter the locker room.


    KingRoy replied:

    What a great point! I never thought of that.


  5. WanderingI

    I really like this guy’s at-home workouts:
    Plus, he’s got different workouts for different goals- weight loss, muscle gain, etc. and his videos and notes are easy to understand for all levels of fitness, even total noobs like me.


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