Transgender Men Redefine Masculinity Through Fitness Education

Many trans male influencers, fueled by conversations about transgender rights reverberating across the country, are creating a safer space in gyms not precisely known for their transgender inclusion.

Mar Keller, a trans fitness entrepreneur, tells Yahoo Life, “A huge part of mental health is physical well-being.”

Influencers like Keller have built online and in-person communities for queer people attempting to navigate their fitness and life goals.

Shawn Stinson, whose Instagram account has nearly 18K followers, is the first trans male to win two bodybuilding titles.

Meanwhile, some fitness companies are already providing welcoming spaces – including Everybody Gym and Non-Gendered Fitness, which offer services for trans people in transition.

The Los Angeles-based Everybody Gym and the online training service Non-Gendered Fitness have already established welcoming spaces for trans clients, especially those transitioning.

Q Grit Fitness, the personal training service Keller founded in 2019, caters to queer clients of all sizes, abilities, and identities, giving pride to queer clients. It’s something he believes has saved lives.

He explains, “Many queer people just want to exist as they are,” he explains. “Their bodies are so scrutinized in everyday life. They don’t want to show up to a gym and feel like they’re being scrutinized there.”

Model-activist Aydian Dowling, the first trans man to cover Men’s Health, says positive role models can help normalize and celebrate trans bodies.

In 2009, Dowling took his gender transition to YouTube to connect with other trans people and spark conversations about health and well-being – areas that he says are widely misunderstood and under-researched.

Dowling tells Yahoo Life, “There is a large responsibility on trans men to speak up in spaces and times, to remind other men that, regardless of our sex, we have an experience of being a man in the world.”