We all have identities. Expressing our identities can feel vulnerable, but there is no shame in how we identify, nor in who we are. Our identities affect how we view the world, serve our communities, and interpret our surroundings through our own biases. I offer my positionality statement for transparency. I also encourage you to reflect on your positionality to understand how your identities and your lived experience impact your views. Learn more about positionality here.

Jesse’s Positionality Statement:

Full Sun Fitness (FSF) is dedicated to positively impacting physical activity spaces, experiences, research, education, access, equity, and justice within LGBTQIA+ communities. As the founder of FSF, I acknowledge my position as a white, middle-class, and male presenting leader with a master’s level education. My native language is English, I was born in the United States, and I do not have a diagnosed physical disability. I identify as genderfluid and I use the pronouns he, she, and they. I also identify as queer, gay, biromantic, and bisexual, but I do not have lived experience as a lesbian, transgender, or intersex person, nor do I have lived experience as a non-white person or as a female-identified or presenting person. I own my home and have access to multiple physical activity environments where I feel physically and emotionally safe to show up as I am. My identity characteristics have given me a life of privilege as a result of white and patriarchal oppressive systems. Though I have experienced discrimination, microaggressions, and hardships surrounding my sexuality, gender identity, and non-monogamous and polyamorous relationship preferences, my presenting characteristics have allowed me to remain highly privileged in this society. 

I have centered LGBTQIA+ work and activism in my personal and professional life since I felt safe to do so. For 12 years, I have traveled the world educating communities on HIV prevention, care, and stigma. I have researched same-sex marriage opinions across the US, youth HIV care interventions in the South, and leisure time physical activity access for gay and queer men globally. Among deep involvement in LGBTQIA+ community initiatives, educational trainings, and movements, I have an authentic and deep desire to contribute responsibly to the community I identify within.

To do so, it is my responsibility to share my identities, acknowledge my implicit biases, and respect and value the intersectionality of individuals within and beyond the LGBTQIA+ community that have different lived experiences than me. I recognize that my ideas, programs, and initiatives are influenced by my experiences. It is my job to learn from others, mobilize resources in this space, and remain mindful of my perspectives, choices, and actions. I pledge to step back when necessary, actively listen to other’s perspectives, needs, wants, joys, and sorrows, accept feedback openly and gratefully, and move in a direction that values and upholds the highest standards for all people and all identities. Finally, when I misstep and when I fail, I pledge to learn and to do better.