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Publication Date

Summer 2023

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Tamar Semerjian; Theodore M. Butryn; Robert A. Marx


Physical activity has been shown to positively affect psychological, physiological, and social health. However, transgender and non-binary (T/NB) individuals face significant barriers to participating in physical activity, including discrimination and exclusion within the fitness industry. The fitness culture has historically been exclusive and heteronormative, making in difficult to T/NB individuals to find inclusive spaces. Personal trainers play a critical role in promoting inclusive and health-promoting practices in fitness spaces. This exploratory study aimed to understand the experiences of T/NB personal trainers who have implemented inclusive training practices. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted using reflexive thematic analysis to analyze the data. The study is grounded in queer theory and examines the role of “space and place” in shaping these experiences. Fice main themes emerged: (a_ resistance: we choose us; (b) critical examination: curiosity versus certainty; (c) inclusion is queer; (d) affirming movement practices; and (e) recovery.