UNTAG proudly presents: UNTAG MOVE!
At UNTAG we believe that Every Body should be able to work out in comfort and with confidence. Being in a queer or trans body while in the gym, can sometimes lead to discomfort, insecurity or unsafe feelings.
To counteract these feelings and to show that exercise is For Every Body, we want to show three queer bodies in the space where they exercise. This is why we proudly present UNTAG MOVE.
By showing you other queer bodies owning their space, not only by confidently carrying out their sports but also by wearing affirming garments, we hope to invoke a feeling of confidence. Every Body deserves to take up space in the gym and to MOVE their bodies.
That is why we want to shine a spotlight on three amazing queer athletes: Jay, Stef, and Tan. Listen to their stories about queer sports, and how they empower themselves through exercise.
This project was entirely made possible by Dean Sanders, who is the initiator of UNTAG MOVE as part of his graduation at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI).
Meet Jay (he/him): Amsterdam-based boxer with a passion for inclusive sports. Jay would love to box at a professional level, but is held back by his genderidentity. He finds himself in a gray area thrust upon him by gender norms. While being an advocate for a more inclusive boxing scene, he teaches lessons at his home gym, Boogie House. Here he hosts free queer boxing classes every sunday.
Meet: Tan (they/them). Tan is a genderqueer poledancer based in Rotterdam. What's so fascinating about Tan is the fact that they're non-binary and also are amazing at embracing their masculine and feminine side. They play with their gender, use their feminine moves, dress masculine, and are an amazing example of gender fluidity.
Tan has been pole dancing for years and loves improving their skills both on the floor and on the pole.
Meet: Stef (he/him), Amsterdam born and raised ballet dancer-turned-swimmer. Stef is classically trained in the art of ballet. After leaving the dance-scene he became a rocycle/spinning instructor. He loves to teach his classes wearing a sportsbra and short legging - he doesn't care what people think of him.
Before class begins people sometimes have a prejudice - but after the class has ended they can only have respect. He feels that being queer in a sporting area leads to feelings of having to prove yourself - but also how rewarding it can be when you do.
Creative Director Dean
Meet Dean, the creative director and creator of UNTAG MOVE. To graduate his program at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute he wanted to work with us on a project about queer sports and how queer bodies could be celebrated in sports arenas.
Dean has always been involved with sports, having been a track star and having studied at the sports academy before moving on to the fashion institute.
Studying at the sports academy while being an openly gay man made him feel uncomfortable at times, as he felt he always had to prove that he could run, fight, or jump as high as the other students. At the same time he mentions getting a kick out of proving everybody wrong.
With his project UNTAG MOVE he wants to show that queer bodies also belong in the gym, and hopes that making these bodies visible helps others feel empowered to start MOVING.
This project wouldn't have existed without his hard work, creative vision and enthusiasm.
Get ready to MOVE
Feeling inspired to hit the gym yourself? Here are seven empowering tips, tricks and affirmations to help you feel confident:
- Focus on yourself and don't pay attention to the people around you.
- Create a pumping playlist for yourself with uplifting and invigorating songs.
- Learn about what you're doing: to help you feel more prepared, look up some tips about the sport you're doing.
- Know that it's also okay to not know what you're doing!
- Look for a queer sports group: for many sports there are queer associations that you can join.
- Repeat the following affirmation to yourself: I am proud of my body and its capabilities, celebrating every achievement, no matter how big or small.
- Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable.