San Francisco’s last gay gym fading to straight

[Article updated el 21 de febrero de 2014]
El 15 de febrero de 2014. Hola. Here’s an e-mail I received earlier today about the gym in San Francisco’s Castro barrio that for years has been known unofficially as “the gay gym.” Here’s what the person wrote:

“In one of your articles, you wrote about [Ed. name of gym removed] on Market Street near Castro. I’ve been going to that gym for years and it used to have a distinct gay feel. It was mostly gay guys who worked out there. That’s now gone.

About a month ago, management painted over the rainbow flag colored pillars on both floors of the gym and they’re now drab gray. Inside the gym, they put up a poster advertizing the gym featuring a male-female hetero couple. There’s an aerobics class upstairs that continues to grow and the new group coming in I’d say is generally mainly thin, anorexic-looking white females (techies?). There are hetero couples now. Hetero couples used to be rare in this gym.

This gym is now just like any other gym with nothing to distinguish it from any other gym. Sad to see this happen that the businesses in the Castro are quickly running away from the gay scene.”

My response: Hola y muchas gracias for your e-mail. Yes it is sad. I’ve heard the same thing from mi amigo who also goes to that gym. He told me that just from looking around the gym when he’s there he’d say about one-third of the gym is now “straight.” Like the rest of the city and The Castro, it seems as though management is trying to sanitize the gym—don’t want to offend the “straights,” and make them feel the least bit uncomfortable you know—so that the gym bears no resemblance whatsoever to its gay past. Mi amigo especially noticed the anorexic-looking muchachas. He said, “they are so thin you can see all their bones.” He said this is the standard look for these muchachas at the gym, except they are thinner at the gym than in this picture (at this link) and have a lot more bone showing (like every rib). I suspect they are the “techies.” Do they have an eating disorder? Mi amigo said it’s rare to see a muchacho at the gym looking that thin. This is also very representative of what I wrote in this article: What Happened to San Francisco? You haven’t heard?. Chau.—rosa barrio

NOTE: I like the rainbow flag keychain up above which is supposed to represent the columns in the gym which were repainted to that drag, ugly gray which that ugly keychain at the bottom is supposed to represent.

2 comments on “San Francisco’s last gay gym fading to straight

  1. jim

    bad news with this gym. i noticed today at the gym that they’ve installed surveillance cameras every 8 feet with microphones and also speakers on the ceiling playing quiet music so they can listen to conversations and watch and monitor everyone’s actions. this is big brother in the castro.

    they won’t hear many conversations because most people are on their (to use the word you use which i like) “stupidphone” and they don’t talk in the gym. like the gay community, this gym has gone conservative since they broke away from the gym they belonged to. i think when they broke away people thought that was a good idea. by what they’ve done to this gym since they broke away it’s turned out to be the opposite. a bad idea. thanks for reading my comment.

  2. Cool Dude

    Since you wrote this article, I’d say the gym has stalled in regards to fading to straight. Even though today I did see a straight couple signing up. I hope that’s rare. Other than that, the gym clientele is mostly aging gay men with phones in front of their faces. There is no way that anyone could tell that this is a gay gym anymore. There are no symbols that it’s a gay gym. It remains a straight-looking gym so I sometimes tell people that my gym is one of the first businesses in the Castro to go back in the closet.

Fin. The End.