In light of the recent article published in OUT Magazine - we felt compelled to release an official statement to shed some light on what it is that CrossFit and the larger fitness community has been able to foster within LGBTQ athletes, specifically thru our efforts here at OUTWOD.
Anyone who has gone into their first CrossFit class is pretty apprehensive about it. Most times, the people who are the most cynical about CrossFit are the ones who end up being the most hardcore members.
“Are we really being sucked into something that is put in the same column as cults?”
“Do we look at WODs as gospel?”
It's a strong possibility, but we definitely don't let a 20-minute AMRAP guide our principals and morals.
At the end of the day we do what we always do - try to get better.
While Greg Glassman can easily be compared to as a cult leader, the main focus of CrossFit is never “I” or “me”, it's always a resounding “us.” There is never a competition to beat each other during WODs and the sense of family is palpable. In fact, if you're the last one standing while doing "Fran," you'll be surrounded in a puddle of your own sweat with your fellow classmates cheering you on through the finish.
According this week’s OUT Magazine article – the catalyst for this post – as a cult we should be busy working on being superior to each other or any of our "non-believers." Greg Glassman runs a business of affiliates. I can't remember a time where people thought Ray Kroc was thought to be a cult leader by making us all Big-Mac loving Grimaces.
OUTWOD welcomes everyone, and like most LGBTQ clusters, there is an abundance of gay men in the group. Aligning OUTWOD with those who have body dysmorphia is a huge reach and simply not fair. In fact, it wouldn’t be too far reaching to say that a majority of gay men living in NYC think about their bodies more than they think about sex.
But it's not just gay men who continuously think about how they look. We see it in almost every realty show we watch, or whenever someone reminds us Chris Pratt used to be a big boy (Pratt actually does CrossFit, and we should all thank Greg Glassman for that). Body image issues are not exclusive to CrossFitters and most definitely not specific to our "gay CrossFit cult".
To say this article disheartens us is an understatement. What the writer did was hurt the feelings of those who were tasked to "show him the ropes" so that he could write about our community – a community that gladly welcomed him.
Craig – the OUTWODer named in the article has been a pivotal part of OUTWOD’s success, and we would never put him in the same category as a Gretchen. In fact, he's more of a Cady. What Craig does and continues to do is bridge the gap between the straight and LGBT athletes at his gym, CrossFit NYC: The Black Box.
CrossFit only works if the people around you care as much about you as they do themselves.
While this OUT Magazine article may seem like it's simply self-deprecating, what it proves is that maybe this is a community that some people need more than anything. Whether you're straight, gay, bisexual, or transgender, you could join CrossFit and still receive the same unwavering support throughout your workout – this is definitely something you'll never get during a 2-hour staring contest at NYSC. Your fellow athletes are not only supportive about you being able to perform the elusive double-under or the bend and snap snatch, but they are also supportive of your life outside the box.
And yes, we do have a life outside of CrossFit.
We just have a better one because of it.
Chadwick, while we stand disappointed – we do not hold grudges. When you're ready to come back to experience more of what we have to offer, our bloody hands will extend and welcome you back with open chalky arms.