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Pride Month offers numerous events where members of the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate who they are. But June is also a good time for everyone to show support for their LGBT friends, relatives, co-workers, and workout partners.
We spent some time with LGBTQ+ business owners Kyle House and Kyle Miller (the Kyles) who own Kyle House Fitness in Chattanooga, TN, to hear from them about their tips to being a better ally inside and outside the gym.
Here are three things they say are important to remember when strengthening your commitment to being a good ally in the community.
The saying, “Knowledge is Power” isn’t just a cute tagline, it can be the best place to start.
In 2020, individual identity has expanded dramatically, and this can make understanding and connecting with people in and outside the LGBTQ+ community more complicated. With new terms entering our worldwide vocabulary, it’s important to have a general understanding of terms so you can easily have conversations and connect with people who identify with these terms.
The good news is, The Trevor Project has made a great resource to help us better understand the terms in their online glossary.
Learning terms are just a starting point, but the most important thing to remember is that the power of the word lies in the individual who identifies with it. What that means, simply put, is never label someone with a term. The power to own a label is their own, and when speaking with someone in the LGBTQ+ community, you never want to take that power away from them. The easiest way to ensure you avoid this misstep is the practice of inquiry over advisory. Ask more questions and let the answers drive the conversation. But, don’t directly ask, “are you gay” or “are you bisexual.” Start just like you would with anyone else, and if you are interested in learning more about an individual's identity, an easy opener is “are you in a relationship?
When we learn about someone, and when we have a positive connection—especially as an ally—it's easy to be excited, and you may want to show support by sharing your interaction with an LGBTQ+ person.
Remember, coming out is one of the hardest things an LGBTQ+ person can have, and it’s not a once and done type of thing. LGBTQ+ people are constantly “coming out.” Whether it’s to family, old friends, new friends, co-workers, or people they interact with each day, LGBTQ+ people are coming out on a daily basis. The last thing you want to do is say something to others that a person shared with you. Building trust is key, and if you can connect with someone and build trust with them, you will be a huge help in allowing them to drop their guard and be more authentic in their daily lives.
As the world continues to grow during a trying time, one thing has become very evident. Prejudice and the power that allows it to exist and grow can be found in the most subtle of things said or actions taken.
If you hear something or see something, say something. I know, another catchphrase, but it’s an easy rule to follow.
Being an ally and a builder of an inclusive community starts with your own expression of what’s acceptable in the environments you call home. If you hear someone make an anti-gay joke or a crude comment, let them know you don't appreciate it. Not only can small statements and actions have an adverse effect on the overall environment, they could be that one small thing that makes a vulnerable person give up on pursuing their goals to be a happier, healthier person.
Hold that close to you as a responsibility, and you might even teach someone else that there’s a better way to engage with others who don’t look, act, and live like they do.
Want to try a Kyle House Fitness class? Check out their schedule!
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!