Is there a gym etiquette?

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    • #140068

      Is there a gym etiquette or like unwritten rules ? Obviously don’t be a jerk don’t leave a mess don’t be obscene, but like are there other cues specific for trans people I might miss at the gym ?

      And what have some of you done to get past the anxiety associated with going to the gym while trans ?

    • #140070

      I’m not sure about specific etiquette rules, but what I’m doing for my classes at the gym (Aqua, Cycle, Mat Pilates, and Zumba) is to get myself ready at home and them put on anything else I might need to cover things (for weather, mainly). For example, I’ll have my swimsuit on and then put on a top and shorts or jeans over it. For Aqua I go to the locker room and take off the outerwear, put what I don’t need for my shower after class in my locker, grab my shower bag and head to the pool. When class is done I hang out in the pool area a bit to allow the shower rush to subside. When I go in, I get my clothes easily accessible in my bag and then put my towel on top. Into the shower and close the curtain before taking off my suit, showering, and then drying off and getting dressed in the shower behind the curtain. Since I’ve had my BA, I’m just wrapping the towel over my top side and finishing that in the locker room where it is less humid.


      For the other classes I just go to the class and avoid the locker room and showers most of the time. If I need to shower there because I’ve got something else to do after class and can’t easily get home to shower, I do the same shower routine as the aqua class.


      Obviously, just going about your business and not “taking in the sights” is part of this. Though I have gotten to know several of the other women and I do have chats with them in the locker room. Several of them have specifically told me that they are fine with me there – “you’re a woman, you belong here”. They definitely know that I’m trans. They are also mostly in my age range (“seniors”…).


      I also think attitude helps. Though I’m trying to minimize my impact, I am going in with the attitude that I belong, I’m confident, and I’m there to take care of my business. I think that goes a long way in our acceptance in any environment.


      I’m not sure if that covers what you were asking, but it’s been my experience that it’s much less an issue than what my mind was telling me before I started going to the club. Note that I live in Minnesota where we have a “use the facilities appropriate for your needs” law. Before I joined the club I verified that they would support my use of the women’s facilities. The one time a front-desk staff member said anything to me due to someone else saying that I was in the women’s locker and they weren’t sure what to tell that other member I just said to tell them that there was another woman (me) in the locker room.

      • #140071

        That sounds reasonable. I was thinking like okay after work change into the gym clothes in the bathroom at work, and then after the workout head home and shower.

        • #140087

          Funny you should mention that. Tonight I went straight from my electrolysis appointment to the club for an Aqua class. Got there, grabbed a locker and dropped a few after-class items in it. Then went to the restroom and changed into my swim suit. No problems at all. And, i have seen other women using he restroom stalls to change in, too.


          Also had a lovely chat with another class member after we were both out of the showers and changed in the locker room. I’m not sure I’ve seen her there before, but she asked me a question to start it out.

          Again, I use the showers after the Aqua class, since I’m wet and covered in pool water (chlorine and saline that I’d just as soon get off now vs later). After the rest of the classes and workouts, I do go home to shower. And that seems common from what I’ve noticed of the other women, too.

          • #140089

            Yeah I’m still young in transition so passing hasn’t quite happened yet. Also I think there is the added pressure of being an ambassador for trans people even if I’m just living my life.

            In the bathroom stall works for sure. I’m just not so sure about showering since I don’t have a pool at my gym

          • #140090

            In terms of my official transition, I’m only a couple of years in, though I’ve known for decades, and cross-dressed for a lot of that. I also don’t believe in “passing”. I’m 6’1″, have a voice that I think is still “male”, along with a hairline that causes my dysphoria (only seen in the Aqua classes). I just assume that everyone knows I was AMAB. But I show the world that I am a woman. I ac and behave as a woman. I think that goes a long ways in terms of being an ambassador, as you say.

            Don’t get me wrong, starting out any new endeavor is scary. There are all sorts of unknowns. Taking it slow helps. When I started going to the fitness center, it was with my then bestie, a CIS woman that showed me a lot about myself and the world. She was the one that suggested the methods I still use when going to the club. And I was going as her guest at the time, so we were always together, other than the showers, obviously.


            Not having to change at the club should make it easier. I still believe that confidence and “owning it” are big factors. Not arrogance or aloofness, but acting like you belong, because you do. And aside from the locker rooms and showers, nothing should be gendered. Just go and enjoy.

      • #140080

        Thanks for sharing this with us Evelyn.  It seems like a very good solution to some of our real life situations without making it into a political spectacle.  We all just want to have a life.  Thanks for the info on Minnesota law.  It will be very useful to me the next time that I am visiting.  Marg

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