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.
While our community is under attack, the IATBP intends to continue pushing back. pic.twitter.com/umeyppODfR— IATBP (@iatbpofficial) May 13, 2022The word gym derives from the Greek gymnos, meaning nude — the preferred state in which ancient Grecians exercised.