Today on the CrossFit HQ mainsite, two articles were posted regarding homophobia. I never read the main-site so if it wasn’t for Mr. Michael Quiles and his post on the Facebook group page “LGBT CrossFitters” , the article(s) and subsequent comments on the blog itself would have gone unnoticed by me.
As I read the comments, I thought about the reasons several persons had to take offense to the posting by CrossFit HQ. Some referenced the article(s) as not being a fitness topic and therefore irrelevant. Others cited the tried yet not true “it’s a sin” argument which, I find, always intends to be more incendiary than an argument based in fact. I kept reading and it seemed like they were missing the point. Instead of focusing on the article itself (which I read) many comments were aimed at the politics involved.
The following comment was posted by me:
I am Jorge I. Sanchez, and in 2011, in response to homophobia within my box I founded Pride RX to establish an LGBT presence in my box. My experience with the CrossFit community has been favorable as a whole; however I have heard distasteful stories of ignorance and downright hate towards LGBT athletes. In reading the comments listed above, it saddens me a great deal to think that within this community that I hold near and dear to my heart, there would lie individuals, who, knowing nothing of me, would wish harm and/or unfavorable circumstances upon me and those who like me are part of the LGBT CrossFit community. I have hope that through their commitment to excellence in fitness, they would apply that same logic to expanding the mind and letting go of preconceived/prejudicial/ignorant ideology. We can lift each other up and be an example of what happens when people set those issues aside. Pride RX has set out to promote health active lifestyles for both the LGBT community and our allies through CrossFit. We get together and WOD alongside each other with the only goal in mind being to better ourselves and our community. It’s the heart and soul of what CrossFIt is supposed to be about, challenge your status quo and raising your bar (physically, mentally, and I would say, ideologically). I encourage any LGBT athletes as well as the friends and family members of those persons out there to go to Pride RX and reach out to us with you story.
Despite the advancements the LGBT community has made, it only takes a single act of ignorance to remind me of the importance of being visible. I can only speculate the reasons why HQ decided on today to post the links to the article(s), though i am sure that this essay by NBA Center Jason Collins printed online today announcing to world “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay”. had a little to do with it.
Anderson Cooper said, in an email response to Andrew Sullivan “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted.”
I agree with Mr. Cooper. It’s no ones business who I share myself with. However, I have found that they best way to stop a bully is to stand up. The more we stand up, the more we raise our voices, the more we align ourselves with like-minded individuals who will stand next to us and give us the support to say ” I am gay”, the less power those who think otherwise will have.
Homophobia is, at it’s root, a fear. The best way to combat fear is with knowledge. Let’s stand together united in our commitment to community, health, fitness, and enlightenment.
Jorge I. Sanchez
Pride RX Founder and GAY