Sonia Beers, LMFT has extensive experience working with gender creative and transgender adolescents and adults and their families. She knows that physical activity and exercise are an important component of overall health, working in conjunction with more traditional therapy.
Gender identity and gender concerns can be closely connected to the body, and many people will opt for a medical or surgical intervention in addressing issues like gender dysphoria. This suffering can be relieved when an individual’s physical experience becomes more aligned with their gender identity. These changes can be brought about as a medically facilitated intervention, but also through taking steps to present as they choose, through exercise, ways of sitting, walking, talking, etc. As a result, folks with gender questions can spend time thinking about their bodies and how they move in the world. Transitions – whether puberty, puberty blocking or pausing, medical/surgical procedures, or changing clothing and other gender expression – can be stressful even with lots of support and excitement about the changes. Maintaining positive connections with their bodies can help transgender people give their heads a rest from the stress and dizzying array of questions and concerns they face.
Finding ways to relate to one’s body in a healthy way, through exercise in a supportive environment, can help to balance the effects of stress—whether related to one’s gender identity, or any other life circumstance.
Traditionally, the environment of exercise is often highly gendered. Gyms and locker rooms, typical workout clothes, and even the types of physical activity are often associated with stereotyped gender – so it is important to identify spaces, places, and companions who can help build a supportive environment.
See below for some helpful information about exercise, physical activity, and gender transition:
Profile of Ace Morgan, a personal trainer and out transgender man.
Confessions of a Transgender Trail Runner – Youtube channel of a Trail Runner who also happens to be a transgender woman.
The Brown Boi Project published “Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois” in 2011, addressing all dimensions of health, including physical. It includes a lot of affirming and helpful advice for anyone looking to get or stay healthy.
The Perfect Sidekick Gym – creating a supportive gym experience for LGBTQ people.
Trips for Kids – An organization we work with to provide Fit Family activities.
Endurance Center - Dr. Cory Nyamora, a certified USAT and USA Track & Field Coach, offers individualized and group coaching for triathlons and endurance running for beginners and experienced athletes, in an environment that is welcoming and affirming for people of all genders and sexualities.
If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment with Sonia Beers, LMFT, please contact 510.981.1471