The Gym Terrified Me

The gym terrified me during early transition. I imagined all bio men walking around naked in the gym with their bits hanging out. Under these circumstances I knew I would be found out, immediately, the second I dropped my pants to change into my gym shorts.

About six years ago, I got tired of not going to the gym, so I joined one affiliated with my job. In those lockers rooms, I found effective strategies like changing in the toilet stall and using the single shower stall rather than the open group showers to wash up after a work out. Every so often I got scared. But if anyone felt concerned they never said anything to me or anyone else.

Then I moved to another gym in my area, one with a jacuzzi and sauna and steam room. I was still scared but really wanted to take advantage of these awesome amenities, especially in the cold of winter. In the beginning, I changed in the bathroom stall, but then I watched a few guys who seemed rather modest about their bodies and did what they did. With two tiers of lockers, these guys opened the door to the upper row of lockers and the door to the locker directly beneath that one. They then faced the open lockers and wrapped a towel around their waist and put on or took off the necessary clothing items.

As I watched these gentleman over time, I realized that the majority of men at this gym did not walk around naked. Most wore their shorts or swim trunks or a towel around their waist. More than several change their clothes in front of the two open locker doors with a towel around their waist.

One of the biggest fallacies about men says we are all exhibitionists at heart. In my limited experience, I find that sentiment to be simply untrue, even in the gym. Many, many men are modest and possess a high level of dignity about their bodies. At least in front of other men unknown to them, they seem to want to keep their bits private. I’ve learned to do what these men do and haven’t had any problems. If I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, I change in the bathroom stall with a locking door. No man has said anything to me, ever, about where I change my clothes. I have no reason to believe that will change.

The most important thing I’ve learned about being a transsexual man in the male locker rooms is this: Many, many men feel great concern about being naked in front of other men. The trick as a transsexual has been to learn what those men do to alleviate their concerns. All of them have been great teachers.

cover for Moxie, Vol. 1 by Jay SennettMy essay collection, Moxie, Vol. 1, will be released January 15, 2018. Preorder your copy today at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Apple Books.