Being Transgender in a Gym

How Gyms Function to Construct Gender


  • Kaiden Jezowski


social construction, gender norms, transgender, excercise, gyms, affect


This project aims to disrupt the heteronormative space of a gym by working out in gender-segregated spaces while being transgender. Firstly, it examines affect by recognizing how uncomfortable it felt to be transgender in a gym. Additionally, it identifies how gender norms influence how men and women dress and work out in gyms. Men perform exercises with heavy weights to increase muscle and size, and women perform exercises with light weights to be skinny and slim. Women wear culturally appropriate tight clothes to the gym, and men wear loose and baggy clothes. This study found that gender segregation in gyms enforces the gender binary and excludes gender-diverse people. Some solutions to include gender-diverse people would be to create gender-neutral change rooms and washrooms, diverse advertising, and policies.

Author Biography

Kaiden Jezowski


I am a third-year Sociology major and a minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. As a queer trans person, I have a significant interest in studying gender and how it affects our lives. I love learning about and examining gender in all aspects of our lives, for example, in sports and in the workplace. My biggest supporter is my cat, Phila, who frequently decides she needs to stomp on my keyboard and add her thoughts to my writing.

Author, Kaiden Jezowski. Selfie against a background of trees.