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Oiled hunks: The not-so-surprisingly queer history of bodybuilding

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In 2014, trans man Neo L. Sandja put on the first bodybuilding competition for trans people, a project that eventually blossomed into the International Association of Trans Bodybuilders and Powerlifters (IATBP).

Founded to create a safe and competitive environment for trans bodybuilders, spaces like this one are needed because the toxic masculinity of mainstream bodybuilding continues to de-center the queer people who not only nurtured the culture but continue to support it through participation and funding.

Bodybuilding, in fact, has always been a queer sport.There is an ever-growing number of transphobic policies being passed in the United States and abroad, and trans athletes in particular do not have a safe and affirming space to compete openly.

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