26 Jan 2023 HCM Handbook
 

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Health Club Management Handbook - Get with the times

Industry insights

Get with the times


There are easy fixes facilities can make to ensure trans people feel more comfortable and respected

Non-binary people have to risk assess every outing Photo: Shutterstock/John Arehart
The world is no longer binary Photo: Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

The world is still catching up with the fact that gender is in the head, not between the legs. In the meantime, 40 per cent of trans people and 50 per cent of non-binary people adjust the way they dress because of fear of harassment or discrimination.

Alarmingly, 85 per cent of trans people consider suicide and 41 per cent attempt it. A world without prejudice, where people are accepted as being humans, as opposed to having to be classified as a gender, would impact these figures and the health and fitness sector could be part of the change.

The size of this demographic is still relatively unknown, however, The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates 11 per cent of LGBTQ+ adults in the US – approximately 1.2 million people – identify as non-binary.

TRANS AWARENESS
According to Keri Blue, co-founder of Be Trans Aware, which runs a Trans Awareness training course, non-binary and trans people have to risk assess every outing: “The shops we enter, whether there are individual fitting rooms and toilets – sometimes it can cause too much anxiety to do the things we would like to do.”

However, there are some easy fixes facilities can make which would immediately make this cohort feel more comfortable and respected.

Ask which pronouns people use, send staff on the Trans Awareness training course and promote staff awareness so that the company ethos is to be inclusive to everyone. Display the transgender flag/symbol on your website so this community knows your facility is a safe place.

Audit marketing across all channels, so it is inclusive and diverse, with images of different genders, sexual preferences, races, disabilities and sizes. A longer term, but very important move, is to offer gender neutral options for changing and showering, in the meantime, consider adding sanitary bins to the male changing areas.


Originally published in HCM Handbook 2022 edition

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