The difference between a straight gym and a queer gym?

I bet you're wondering why queers need their own gym or why it's different. We often get asked, "what makes it a queer gym? Do you guys do, like, queer pushups or something?" Hmm, no. Actually we do the exact same pushups straight people do. LOL. But there is a difference and there is a need for a queer gym. Check it out.

Nathalie, Chief of Making Shit Happen, founded The Queer Gym in 2010 in Oakland, Ca. 

Nathalie, Chief of Making Shit Happen, founded The Queer Gym in 2010 in Oakland, Ca. 

the queer gym


Straight Gym: Hella gender bullshit

Queer Gym: No gender bullshit. We don't have a men's bar and a woman's bar. We just have a 45 lbs bar and a 35 lbs bar. We don't gender our equipment. We don't gender exercises either. For example, we don't do "super-mans." We do "super-people."  We don't do "man-makers." we do "people-makers." Hell, we don't even gender our bathrooms. Those suckers are gender neutral too.

the queer gym


Straight Gym:  Wait. What? Pronouns?

Queer Gym: Pronouns matter here. We think it's a big deal to get someone's pronouns correctly. Before every workout, we go around and introduce ourselves by name, pronoun, injuries and some silly ass ice breaker questions like, "are you a big spoon or little spoon?"


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Trans Training

Straight Gym: So do I train you like a boy or like a girl?!

Queer Gym: You can't just like, walk into a 24 hour fitness and find a trainer that knows how to train someone going through a gender transition, but you can at our gym. Our trainers  specialize in knowing how to train the transgender community. Everything from training while on hormonal therapy to how to prepare for top surgery.


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Queer 101

Straight gym: Wait! I know what LGBT is, but what's queer?

Queer Gym: Every 6 months, our entire staff is required to go through a queer 101 cultural sensitivity training. We open this training to our entire community. Why? Because we believe that true acceptance starts with true understanding. So we just get together, invite in a moderator and have a real and raw conversation about gender, sexuality and anything else we're curious about within our queer community. This is also where we make some really great allies. 


the queer gym


Straight gym: gym bros, gym bunnies, mansplainers and gym creepers.

Queer gym: #nohomophobia, #notransphobia, #nofatphobia, #noislamophobia, #nogymcreepers, #nomansplainers, #straightpeoplecancometoo. Most of us have had some shady experience at the gym where we felt totally out of place, intimidated and even unsafe. We ain't having none of that shit here. We go out of way to make sure everyone feels safe, included and celebrated. We "vet" every new member to make sure they are here to increase their fitness and expand their community. If you give off creeper vibes...bye felicia! 


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We Gay Shit Up

Straight Gym: #nohomo

Queer Gym: Us queers, we know how to have a good time...yes, even at the gym. So from time to time, we might hit up the gay club together or find a random reason to workout in a unicorn onesie with our disco light on because why not?!


One thing left to do...

So there you have it folks. Look, we're the first of a kind gym in the Nation and the best thing we can tell you is to come in and try it. Come in, take a free class and see what the vibe is all about. You'll quickly see it's much more than just about working out. It's about making legit friends and finally finding a healthy space where you belong. Fill out the form below and come try a free workout. Come on. You know you're curious...

What A Cisgendered Straight Dude Has To Say About Our Gym

#Repost @takimoto23x with @repostapp ・・・ 80s themed workout at @thequeergym? Side pony up and let's go!

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I've always been averse to gyms: I never had a plan, I didn't know how to use machines or lift properly, and they're filled with judgy swole-bros that get on my nerves and make me insecure. Running worked to keep me in shape for a while, but after a back injury I ended up just being lazy and out of shape. Enter The Queer Gym. I'm three months in, and I'm in the best shape of my life. 

  1.  love the class sizes; at 6-12 people, they're big enough that you've got a bunch of other homies to work out with, and small enough that the trainers can keep an eye on your form. 
  2. I appreciate how responsive the trainers - Rose and Kendra - are to how the class is going; they aren't afraid to increase or decrease reps or sets depending on how much we're getting our butts kicked. Plus, there's wiggle room within each class for all ability levels; you can go hard if you want, but there isn't a culture of "you're only doing it right if you feel like you're gonna die." It's also clear they put a lot of thought and reflection into planning workouts for us, and are genuinely excited to see all of us make progress. It feels like they'd teach these classes for free because they have fun doing it, and that energy and enthusiasm is infectious. 
  3. You definitely aren't paying Planet Fitness prices, but the unlimited classes and attentive training is more than worth the price tag. For me, it's more motivation to go 3+ times a week to really get my money's worth!

We just AWESOMED all over this fucking place!

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Lastly, as a cisgender straight male, The Queer Gym has been amazing at welcoming and including me in a space that really shouldn't be mine. We live our daily lives in a hetero-normative, male-dominated world, and to enter a space where the norms are love, support, camaraderie, and unabashed queer swagger is such a necessary piece of perspective, one that any man, any straight person, or any cisgender person can learn a lot from. There are shared experiences many of the LGTBQ members of the gym have that I don't share, and it really puts into perspective the idea that I live 99% of my life in the dominant demographic. How I feel in this one brief moment is how my LGTBQ friends may feel every day at work, or watching TV, or reading the news. This is not to say I feel excluded at The Queer Gym, because I have experienced nothing but kindness in my three months as a member. It just provides a welcome reminder of my own privileges, and allows me to be the best ally I can to the LGTBQ community I care so deeply for. 

TL;DR version: It's fun as hell, it'll get you in great shape, you'll be among the best damn people on the planet, and heteros can come too!

Christa's Big Fucking Deal

“No, no, no,” my grandma says, shaking her head. “No. You shouldn’t do that - that makes you too masculine.”

I raise my arm and flex, grinning at her. “Well, I want to be masculine.”

“No,” she repeats, more forceful this time. “You need to be feminine. You used to be prettier. Now you look too hard.”

Christmas Eve, 2016.

My family is generally of one mind about me lifting: don’t do it. My mom, dad and grandparents worry that it’ll make me too “bulky” or too “boyish”. They offer this unilateral opinion every time I mention a gain - what I deadlifted this past week, how much weight I lost on Whole30, how deep I got into my squat. They offer this opinion without prompting, as if I’m perpetually asking for permission.

The women in my family are decidedly girly. My mother subscribes to the fashion model of Stevie Nicks, while my grandmother applies her German precision and coldness to impeccable tailoring and tasteful colors. My aunts go bolder, with sequins and nails and big hair, but still fall on the feminine end of the spectrum. My cousin is picture-perfect femme: tall, with long blonde-streaked hair and a killer body she wraps in designer everything. I don’t fit.

Me being hella girlie.

Me being hella girlie.

I was decidedly not them, and so I deleted my body from the conversation. When I was young and fit, I ran. I was popsicle slim, flat-chested, and entirely uncomfortable. Mind over matter, I told people. Boys, football players lifted in the weight room and I laced myself into my shoes and took off. I enjoyed severing the tenuous link between my legs and breath and my head and focused on tuning out my body’s signals that enough was enough to push just that much further. I learned discipline. I also learned to ignore pain, and only celebrate when I was decidedly beyond my limits.

the queer gym

Fast forward through a mind-body connection based on money, hacking grad school, a cross-country move, a period of anxiety so pervasive it takes a year to come back to any kind of baseline. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I am tired. I am eating my feelings. I remember a gym my friend told me about, queer-owned/run/friendly. I desperately need something to change.

the queer gym

My first few classes are brutal. I am out of shape and stiff. I fall down several times. I can’t look anyone remotely attractive in the eye (and there are many of you, you should be proud). My body remembers a level of fitness I can’t possibly achieve in 50 minutes. This is dumb, I tell myself. They’re all better and stronger than you. You’re shit. You’re nothing. This is never going to work.

Slowly but surely, it does, because I pick up a barbell and, shocker, I love it. The first time I really drop into a squat I break into a sweat - not out of effort, but panic. Too deep! Too much! How can I possibly get up out of this? I do. I do it again. It’s fun. I get better.

I find my edge. Slowly, I clue into my body - what aches versus what is pain, what is stiff and what is a true limit, what is fatigue and what is a stubborn no-I-can’t-too-hard. I dig deep into my hips and shoulders and dredge a well of grief and fear. I start to see external changes that flatter my bruised ego, and I’m able to do more.

Me signing the Hundo Wall after completing 100+ workouts

Me signing the Hundo Wall after completing 100+ workouts


I make friends. I learn to love my trainers. I quit therapy. I look forward to the gym.

My family doesn’t recognize me. I am untethered from their expectations. I look in the mirror and I see lats, and biceps, and quads, and an ass that I built. I am proud of my broad shoulders. I have facial angles and a hawklike chin. I am excited to get bigger. I am finding space to breathe and be free. I am happy, for the first time in my life.

This is a big fucking deal.

Me Before

Me Before

Me After

Me After

Why Working Out Is Like Sex

Working out is like sex: you can either go LONG or you can go HARD, but you can't do BOTH. 

In other words, the harder the workout is, the shorter the workout is. That's why a short 4 minute tabata is done at a much higher intensity than say a 15 minute AMRAP. 

the queer gym

So rule of thumb:

  • If there's a LONG workout on the board, PACE YOURSELF! [like making love]
  • If there's a SHORT workout on the board, GO HARD! [like f*c%ing]

Make sense?


Hard Core Homo VS. Cardi-OH FUCK!

OK, so in 2017 we added a new class called, Cardi-OH FUCK! It's 50 minutes of straight up cardio! That's right. Cardio all the time, well, for 50 minutes. Because this is another ENDURANCE class, I bet some of you are like, uhhh don't we already have an ENDURANCE class? Isn't that what the Hard Core Homo class is about? 

the queer gym

Uh....close, but NO.

The difference? 

Hard Core Homo is MUSCULAR endurance. Cardi-OH FUCK is CARDIOVASCULAR endurance.

Both are endurance based, which means that both classes will help you "love someone looong time," but Hard Core Homo will have your muslces burning, while Cardi-OH FUCK will leave you breathless.

What does a class actually look like?

In Hard Core Homo you'll do full body weight training workout like pushups and squats with weights. In Cardi-OH FUCK you'll do more stuff like running, jumping rope, rowing. 

So check out and sign up for both classes here and tell us what you think.

How Many Classes Should You Take A Week?

the queer gym

Not sure how many classes a week you should take? Don't worry, we got you! This is a tough answer and one I recommend that you chat with a coach before you go on and make some shit up on your own. Ideally, I want all of you working out 4 times a week, but here are some recommendations:

If you're only working out 4 times a week:

  1. Upper Body Class [oakland booty]
  2. Lower Body Class [hella arms and abs, kick ass]
  3. Cardio Class [hard core homo, kick ass]
  4. Recovery Class [yoga, meditation, so knotty]

If you're only working out 3 times a week:

  1. Lower Body
  2. Upper Body
  3. Recovery

If you're only working out 2 times a week:

  1. Full Body [hard core homo]
  2. Recovery

Want More Strength? --you even know what that means?

If you've ever said your goal was to get stronger, please watch this video. Did you really mean strength ooooor are you actually wanting muscle endurance? 

What's the difference? Watch this video. 

Why's this important? Uh...well....because when your coach asks you what your goal is, you might want to be on the same page.

Just watch the video.


Free Shit


Each time you sign up for workouts on a desktop, you get 1 point. Each point is worth a $1. You don't get the points if you sign up through the app. Shitty, I know. We're working to resolve this issue right now.

Account Credit

You can earn account credit when you refer your homos and homies. Example, you get $100 bucks each time your referral signs up. 

How to redeem?

You can see and use your reward points and account credit by logging into Mindbody on a desktop or you can buy them at the gym from any coach. You can't see them or buy stuff. Again, we are working on fixing this. 

What Can you Buy?

  • Private Sessions $70
  • Semi Private Sessions $50
  • Guest Pass $10
  • Bars $3
  • Lacrosse Ball $8
  • Foam Roller $15
  • Gift Certificates
  • More coming soon...

What you can't buy?

  • Membership dues
  • Fees

Questions? Email us at


We Give Lots of Fucks

Yeah, we give lots of fucks about your feedback. We wanna know how we're doing every. damn. day. because it's that important to us. In fact, it's a metric that is closely watched because it measures not only how the gym is performing, but also how good our coaches are delivering awesome workouts to you. We don't have a suggestion box at the gym, but we do have one right on your phone: the Mindbody App.

After each workout, your app allows you to review your workout and your coach. Kinda like how you review your uber driver. You can give us 5 hearts and/or leave comments. You don't have to leave comments, but I'm not gonna lie...our coaches really dig them. The reviews aren't anonymous because if we ever really fuck things up, we want to be able to reach out to that person and fix it. Don't worry about hurting our feelings if you don't dig your workout. We grown.

I made a little video to show you exactly where to go on the app to review. Check it: