Pride: LGBTQ+ History and Fitness

by Andrew Demetriou
Pride: LGBTQ+ History and Fitness

This year Pride month arrives at the heart of a difficult time felt by another community of marginalised people, the Black community. What is usually a joyous month of increasing visibility for LGBTQ+ rights, and discussing the issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ Community, has grown into a much more focused, and vocal debate on the lives of marginalised people being taken before their time. Pride feels particularly poignant in 2020, when the lost lives of, not only black men and women, are thrust into the mainstream spotlight again following the death of  George Floyd, but those of black trans men and women too.

In what should be a month of celebration we are faced with the cruel statistics of how many black people have been attacked or killed simply for being of a different skin colour, we are faced with the statistics that show the average life expectancy for trans individuals to be 35, because they continue to be killed for trying to live their lives authentically. We are faced with the reality of history repeating itself.

In the early hours of June 28th, 1969, eight New York officers of the Public Morals Department (PMD) raided the Stonewall Inn, a prominent gay bar in the New York Village district. Raids of this nature were not uncommon during this period of time, and the PMD, at the time, were tasked with policing “criminal activity” in New York, and on this particular night, one of many raids against the LGBTQ+ community, changed the course of history for gay people across the world. Common historical accounts inform us that Marsha P Johnson, a black transgender pioneer and activist, was one of the first to retaliate against the brutality that plagued the LGBTQ+ community by the NY police. This fateful night at the Stonewall Inn sparked the Gay Liberation movement, in what started as a series of protests that carried the LGBTQ community across decades to fight for their right to live truthfully.

Tone & Sculpt has grown from a small group of individuals to a global community of diverse women from all over the world, coming together from different backgrounds, races, sexualities and gender identities as a movement of its own to empower one another on their journey to living a healthier, more confident life, both physically and mentally.

Fitness has walked a delicate balance within the LGBTQ+ community for a long time, many LGBTQ+ people have suffered from depression and anxiety issues stemming from the systematic oppression they have endured in the face of workplace discrimination or even at home, and for parts of this community fitness has proven a therapeutic escape from those woes. On the other hand, being a sexual minority in what is deemed as a “Default Heterosexual” environment has proved difficult for many. Studies show that, though our society is inching closer towards a more inclusive and considerate place, homophobia/heterosexism is still a concerning issue within the fitness world for the LGBTQ+ community.

With the fitness industry being heavily dominated by cis-heterosexual individuals, two of the biggest issues facing the LGBTQ+ community is Heterosexism, the idea that anything other than heterosexuality is seen as negative, this encompasses homophobia and biphobia; and cissexism, the belief or assumption that cis people's gender/identities, are more "natural and legitimate" than those of trans and non-binary people. Tone & Sculpt is run by a diverse group of staff members who aim to change this narrative within fitness, and provide training programmes to our audiences that are inclusive and welcoming of all.
 
Tone & Sculpt wants all LGBTQ+ people to know that no matter who you are, how you look or present yourself, you are welcome in this safe place that we have created. You are welcome to live your life truthfully and honestly within the Tone & Sculpt community. We aim to continue to raise awareness for our members and strive to be a company you can rely on.

For those of you who are not an LGBTQ+ individual but want to show your support for the community, you can:

- Support LGBTQ+ Content Creators.
- Donate to LGBTQ+ Charities which aim to raise awareness.
- Listen to podcasts based on the experiences of Queer people and the oppression they have faced.
- Watch Documentaries, films and TV shows based on the history of LGBTQ+ people.
- Educate the people around you who may still perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

Educate yourself on the history of the LGBTQ+ Community with resources available at:

https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/
http://genderedintelligence.co.uk/
https://www.ukblackpride.org.uk/
https://www.stonewall.org.uk/

Podcast - Welcome to Gender Reveal
Podcast  - This Is Qmunnity
Podcast - Privilege

Documentary - The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson
Documentary - Paris Is Burning

References:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0966369042000258668
https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/blog/articles/3-roadblocks-lgbtq-women-face-in-fitness-spaces/

If you would like to share your story or any experiences of being LGBTQ+ within the fitness world, please contact team@toneandsculpt.app for any future collaborations.

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