Wanting to exercise, but gyms are getting intimidating? We get it. With the help of MU Sport, we’re running gym sessions for people of all abilities, free from transphobia and homophobia, in the company of your fellow queers.

Whether you’re brand new and just trying to get your 30 minutes a week in, or a long-time junkie, we’ve got you covered.

Running Friday 5pm in Weeks 6, 7, 8 and 9. MU Sport Lincoln Square Venue, guidance will be offered in further promo.

Please register here: https://form.jotform.com/210756751327861

Also check out MU Sport’s Pride in Sport Page: https://sport.unimelb.edu.au/programs/pride-in-sport

Important Safety Message:

CW: Body image & self-esteem, discussion of breasts and genitals in the context of binding and tucking.

We’re really proud to be delivering these Queer-Safe Gym Sessions, as we recognise (and I know first-hand) the unique challenges that come with being queer and trying to exercise in a public environment such as a gym. I would like to take this time to elaborate on how this is so, and provide important safety advice for attendees, especially Trans, Intersex and Gender Diverse attendees who might usually bind their chest or tuck their genitals as part of an affirming expression of gender and self.

Firstly, I would like to establish that the goal of these exercise nights is to introduce otherwise apprehensive queer people to healthy exercises and routines that are suitable for their abilities, and that might otherwise be avoided due to the valid fears and concerns that come with exercising (especially in public) for queer people. We recognise that LGBTQIA+ people, most notably queer men and trans, intersex and gender diverse people, are more likely than the common person to experience negative body image and self esteem issues related to their physical appearance. The goal of these sessions is not to encourage attendees to lose weight or strive for an ideal physical shape; the goal is to give access to means by which one can establish healthy exercising habits for all abilities and body types.

Secondly is an important note on safety for Trans, Intersex and Gender Diverse attendees, or anyone who might usually consider binding their chest or tucking their genitals for an affirming appearance. Neither of these practices are considered to be safe whilst performing most exercises, and as such we strongly recommend that attendees do not bind or tuck during these sessions and instead we suggest the following alternatives:

  • Instead of binding your chest, consider:
    • Using sports tape to tape down the breasts;
    • Wearing a sports bra that is snugly-fit but not restrictive;
    • Wearing loose-fitting or baggy clothes to disrupt the silhouette.
  • Instead of tucking your genitals, consider:
    • Compressive underwear or shapewear that is not restrictive, but holds genitals close to the body without tucking the testes;
    • Wearing loose-fitting or baggy clothes to disrupt the silhouette.

I understand first-hand that the above might mean that you are not affirmed by your appearance while exercising, but your safety is paramount and we cannot condone neglecting your safety. To make us all feel safer and affirmed at this event, we have the whole venue to ourselves – the venue is normally closed at this time so we will have the place to ourselves. The venue is discrete and you will be surrounded by other queer people who will support you, affirm you, and keep you safe.

Whilst it cannot be guaranteed that the instructors are LGBTQIA+, steps have been taken to ensure they are reliable allies. The call-out to instruct these sessions was totally opt-in, that is to say that the instructors will be paid for their time, but they have volunteered to do so and are legitimately keen to be involved. Additionally, I (Amy, a trans woman) have sat down with them all to outline our expectations, the relevant risks to queer people while exercising and ensured they are prepared to run the sessions tactfully and safely.

We can’t wait to see people there for some fun and supportive exercise!