Blog Home Moving to Unite: In conversation with our LGBTQ+ community about the impact of movement in all its forms
Moving to Unite: In conversation with our LGBTQ+ community about the impact of movement in all its forms
Moving to Unite: In conversation with our LGBTQ+ community about the impact of movement in all its forms

There’s something special about the power of movement. It makes us stronger. It makes us better. Whether it’s through sports, hiking, acting, or dancing, movement gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment. And when we stand side by side with those who share in this passion for movement, it unites us.


We’re not only talking about physical movement, but social movement as well. Movements for justice, equality, representation – even just to be seen. For Pride 2021, we sat down with six members of our community who shared the positive effects movement has on their lives and how they’re making moves to better our world…

Corey Rae

An activist, actress, model and so much more, she believes it’s not just up to large organizations to make change. One person making small moves can have a big effect.

What is your name, pronouns, and how do you identify? 

My name is Cory, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I identify as a woman of transgender experience.

When did you realize you were gay/queer/trans and what moved you to come out? What was your overall experience like?

I knew I was female my whole life… but trans specifically, when I was 12 or 13. I saw a story on a trans teenager [in People Magazine], the word “transgender," and the sentence “trapped in the wrong body." It hit me right then and there. When transitioning in high school, I started to grow out my hair, and wear my mom’s clothes. I started wearing nail polish—it was a very slow thing—and it just made sense to everyone. That part of my transition was all positive because I was finally starting to be myself—who I really was. I was starting to become the girl that I had always imagined myself being when I was younger.

“My social movement is through acting—going for roles that aren’t just for LGBTQ+ people. I want to be a Bond girl and the next rom com queen."

Let’s look at another type of movement, the kind that brings about social change. We’ve seen a lot of social movements for equal rights and acceptance. How are these grassroots movements helping to create a better, a more accepting and inclusive world?

…It’s very exciting for people to join in rather than having all these big organizations do everything; these grassroots initiatives, it gets people to believe and get behind something and feel like they can do more, because it starts smaller or more humbly. 

“I would like for people to see us as human beings, treat us as human beings, and for us to have rights as human beings."

Finally, what movements would you like to see for your communities?

Equity and equality…I would like for people to see us as human beings, treat us as human beings, and for us to have rights as human beings. And I wish for a world where when someone says that they’re trans, and someone responds with, “Oh, great," and it’s nothing more than that. Because that person has educated themselves. Not too much to ask. 

Jazmine Sosa

She’s a former softball player who believes that movement can give us confidence to get out of a bad place. She uses her experience, on and off the diamond, to advocate for today’s LGBTQ+ youth.

Physical movement is a big part of your life. What effect does it have on you and why is it so important?

When I’m in a bad place, lifting creates this euphoric feeling of “I am strong, I am powerful." I am 110 pounds and allowing myself to have movement to refine that strength, refines that balance, refines that focus. I think movement is so important to your health and your mental health and that’s the biggest thing for me. My family has a history of mental health and I know a lot of queer people with some variation of mental impact, whether it be from being queer or just in general, moving is a way to balance that.

How does social movement unite people?

You saw over the summer, people marching from all different walks of life, because they’re angry and annoyed with injustice. That is its own movement; the willingness to drop your ego to work for a common good of the world, and come together and make change and make good things happen and progress happen. It’s its own sort of force.

Therabody is partnering with GLSEN, an organization working on the development, implementation and expansion of inclusive curriculum and sports for LGBTQ+ students and educators. In your opinion, what effect does sports have on LGBTQ+ individuals? Why do you think more LGBTQ+ students should be more involved in sports? 

Oh, I love this. Sports have taught me how to put every difference aside for one common goal… you’re grabbing teammates, from all different walks of life with all different life experiences, and you’re saying, “Hey, you love this, you’re passionate about this, let’s go after this, let’s win together." 

Especially for LGBTQ+ youth, it just builds that confidence in them. The skills of learning and losing and winning and working together for a common goal is very empowering, and has so many positive aspects… it’s all about the building together.

Zach Campbell

Creator. Performer. Showman. Zach’s larger-than-life performances bring joy to his audiences who need it. In return for their support, he connects with them on a level to show he’s more than a star. He’s a friend.

“When I’m moving, I don’t have to think about social norms, or masculinity, or what it means to be black, white or Puerto Rican — I don’t have to think about anything because I’m in the moment."

When did you realize you were gay/queer/trans and what moved you to come out? What was your overall experience like?

I knew when I was four – maybe three – that I was different from all the other boys. It wasn’t until 13 or 14, when I started watching [music] videos that I realized girls didn’t do it for me. But guys did. I thought, “Well, okay, I’m gay." Also, I’ve always been drawn to heels, and fashion, and wigs, and makeup. I just knew that I liked performance. I came out because I wanted to perform in heels in my high school talent show. I just wanted to wear these six inch pumps I found online for my performance. I thought, “I need to come out because I need to have an explanation for this." And then I knew the truth.

What moves are you making to push society into a more inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community? It doesn’t have to be big, it could be as simple as coming out to coworkers, which helps raise awareness and acceptance of queer individuals in the world, for example.

I reach out to my online community, we talk a lot and get to know each other, which is why it’s hard to call them fans or supporters because we are so close. I’ve been told stories about people’s upbringing and have been told I’ve changed their lives and I’ve told people how they’ve changed my life too—I’m very open about that. The last four years have been amazing. It’s the communication and openness that I have with my community that I think helps people.

Jordan Gonzalez

Create the world you wish to see. Jordan Gonzalez truly believes that. It’s why he became an actor. Jordan is working to normalize trans individuals through representation in the media.

What is your name, pronouns, and how do you identify? 

Jordan Gonzalez, he/him, I identify as a man of transgender experience.

“I have hope that in the future we will all be seen as the beautiful souls that we are, and not a threat to society."

When did you realize you were gay/queer/trans and what moved you to come out? What was your overall experience like?

Like most of us, it was hard for me. I was raised in rural Georgia and went through 12 years of Catholic school education. After battling with self-harming coping mechanisms in middle school and the beginning of high school, I decided that coming out couldn’t feel any worse than not living authentically, so I came out—for the first time. At this point, I still had yet to meet someone of trans experience, nor did I know that was even an option. So I lived my life in the box/label “lesbian," which I never really resonated with, but it was easier for the world to view me in that way. 

It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I had my “aha!" moment. Surrounded by so many different queer identities, I was finally able to release this burden that felt like an elephant sitting on my chest. I again had the same moment I had in high school: nothing could be more painful than not living authentically. 

Do you think moving our bodies through physical activity builds confidence? 

Acting has given me even more confidence and grit than I could’ve imagined.

Rick Gilles

Having been surrounded by activists and mentors from early on, Rick is paying it forward through his hiking group, Trailmixers. He’s helping create an inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community, and showing the therapeutic effects of movement.

What is your name, pronouns, and how do you identify? 

I’m Rick Gilles. I’m comfortable with any pronouns. And I am a gay cisgendered man.

What moves are you making to push society into a more inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community? It doesn’t have to be big, it could be as simple as coming out to coworkers, which helps raise awareness and acceptance of queer individuals in the world, for example.

With Trailmixer [my hiking group], we’re trying to honor the tradition of the mentorship that we had, and provide opportunity for the queer kids coming up. The last two years, we partnered with an organization called Brave Trails [to raise funds], which is a summer camp dedicated to only queer kids—lesbian, gay, trans, bi anything. So many of those kids are trans actually now. And we provide them a safe place to associate with each other and build friendships and grow, and be happy and in love with themselves.

“From hiking, I get peace. It’s that peace and tranquility that I need to recharge… the brain is free to roam, free to process, free to absorb what’s going on around me. It’s free to heal."

These social movements, which are uniting people, are they bringing about change in the LGBTQ+ community?

There is nothing that hasn’t changed in the LGBTQ+ community [since I came out]. The political access we have, the societal access, whether we have the opportunity to be open and queer and who we are, publicly, is night and day. When I was coming out, coming out meant an ostracization period. And now there are families who welcome you and communities that welcome you. And the fact that it really has only been 40 years since that time is shockingly fast. 

What movements would you like to see for your communities?

I’m going to be specific about the queer community as a whole and not society in general. I was a member of Act Up and of Queer Nation, at the end of the 80s, when we were really trying to realize a community of people that could get along and work together, whether you were gay, straight, lesbian, bi, trans, black, Latino, white, that we could work on a community together successfully. It was the dream of the rainbow flag, when it was created. And that’s all the way back in 1978. As a queer community, we have failed at that. We are more bifurcated, more separate from each other, and more balkanized than ever before. And I find that really sad. 

“I don’t deal with repression well, whether that’s of someone else, or of myself… So any chance that I had to be truthful both to myself and in the world, I was taking it…"

It’s an interesting offshoot of growth. And I think, looking back, it’s an obvious result of that growth. I think that when you look at the last two years, the black and brown stripes were added to the rainbow flag and then the trans triangle was added on the left side. In a way, it’s good, because it’s a it’s an acknowledgment that the gay activism of the 80s and early 90s was almost purely white, and really excluded people of color. It also excluded trans people. My hope is that we can continue to reverse the balkanization trend and start to really work together, cohesively again, without structural racism. 

Nikko Reyes

Movement is his job, his hobby – his driving force in life. Nikko knows all about the connection movement creates to help unite us all.

“I just love movement. I love being active. Our body is such a magnificent thing—it can do anything. And for me, movement and physical activity generates confidence."

What is your name, pronouns, and how do you identify? 

My name is Nikko Reyes and my pronouns are he/him/his, and I identify as gay. 

When did you realize you were gay/queer/trans and what moved you to come out? What was your overall experience like?

I realized I was gay, I want to say, five to seven years ago? I guess, I just knew. And it wasn’t a revelation where I woke up to rainbows, but more of a realization of, “Okay, I find this person attractive." I was born and raised in the Philippines. The way I grew up, being gay in the Philippines, wasn’t a sin or as taboo as it is here in the US, so it wasn’t a talk that I had with my family. Because in the Philippines, I had some gay uncles and lesbian aunts. It was just normal for me. 

Physical movement is a big part of your life. What effect does it have on you and why is it so important?

I just love movement. I love being active. Our body is such a magnificent thing—it can do anything. Movement is necessary because I have been doing it for so long that it became more than a hobby, something that I enjoy a lot. And for me, movement and physical activity generates confidence. 

Clearly, movement is very powerful. Do you believe movement/physical activity/sports help unite people?

It’s scientifically proven that you tend to overshare when you do a physical activity or workout. So with that, you tend to give more information to whoever you’re with—you build that rapport and you build that bond.

Therabody will donate 100% of the purchase price of our Theragun mini skins to GLSEN to further GLSEN’s mission to ensure that every student is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression with a maximum donation of USD $25,000. 

Shop Theragun mini Pride Skin

Shop Theragun mini Pride Skin Set