Trans-owned gym Outbox offers inclusive spot to train
One in three LGBTQ+ young people are involved in sports, but some decline to participate because of a fear of discrimination, according to The Trevor Project. Max Adler – a transgender boxer – is a part of the solution. He’s opened an all-inclusive LGBTQ+ gym in Brooklyn.
“When you look around Outbox, everyone is Queer,” Adler told News 12 New York. “It’s the first time I’ve been in a fitness space where I’ve been looking around and people look like me and people have the same scars I have and same experience.”
Max Adler is the co-founder of OutBox, New York City’s first transgender owned boxing gym. Adler – an amateur boxer – was inspired to start the gym after he transitioned in 2020.
“I didn’t know which bathroom to use, so I was actually changing in Starbucks across the street.” Adler said. “It just got to the point where I felt so uncomfortable in the gyms that I had been at for over 10 years.”
Adler says gender-neutral changing rooms are the hook of Outbox, but those aren’t the only LGBTQ+ friendly aspects of the gym.
“We’re trans-owned and all of our trainers here are queer, so just naturally, we understand the kind of clientele that’s coming in. We ask people to use the name that they use, not their government name, we ask people to use the pronouns they want to use. We take gendered language out of our classes and we take gendered training out.”
Lex Stodden joined Outbox a year ago. They say it changed their life.
“You come as you are, and there’s no judgment, you can come at any age, any body type, any personality even, ” Lex told News 12 New York. “I’m a very loud person and I like to have a lot of fun in class...you come as your authentic self and you’re appreciated for being your authentic self.”
For Remi Houss, this space has given him the confidence to do something that cisgender men do freely.
“Being able to take off my shirt,” Houss said confidently. “Having scars and having gone through the process of top surgery it’s not something I was always comfortable with, but being able to come here and take my shirt off and work out like any normal cisgender guy has been really powerful and profound for me and what’s so special about this space."
And although the space is open to all, Adler says OutBox’s spirit is found in the trans joy among its members.
“It’s all about having fun, we want people to be laughing, we want people to be hanging out, we want people to be talking, we don’t want to run a boot camp,” Adler said. “It’s really important for us to have people come in and feel joy and feel normal and accepted.”
The gym recently doubled its space in Williamsburg. Adler hopes to open more queer spaces not only in New York City, but across the country.