Selfie of Devin outside the door to the Seattle gym, smiling at the camera with bright eyes.

Devin Gaan

I’m training for…My goal is big butt, no gut! But seriously, I come to get stronger and get into an overall better physical condition!

What I do with Strive & Uplift is…Just gym access though there are courses I’m interested in.

My favorite thing about training at Strive & Uplift is…Puppies, obviously. Really though, Strive & Uplift has everything one needs from a gym, but none of the toxic masculinity that is so prevalent in almost all gyms.

I’d like to share with everyone that…For those who don’t know me, I identify as a trans-woman. My experience transitioning leads me to feel pretty confident there is a high level of recognition and understanding that mental health is very important. However, it is much harder to find where we are with prioritizing physical fitness. It’s not spoken about as much. There are a lot of fear and anxiety. I think it has a great deal to do with the lack of safe and inclusive spaces for trans and gender non-binary folx to exercise. Further, the stigma of a woman lifting heavy weights is magnified for trans-women. Many often fear they’ll look too masculine, or that they’d get out’ed in the gym.

While I ran out of f***s to give to those who judge me a long time ago, that is very much coming from a position of privilege. It’s simply not the norm. That’s why it is so incredibly important for places like Strive & Uplift to exist. It’s a place where all are welcomed and serves as an example of how we should support all people and their goals. (it’s like Average Joe’s gym in Dodgeball… everyone is welcomed… unlike that horrible Globo Gym!!!)