BOYSTOWN — Being in the closet with your personal trainer can put a damper on your workout.
At least that’s been the experience of Sam Provenzano and his gay friends. They’ve had to leave trainers due to a trainer’s discomfort with mentions of boyfriends or nights out at Sidetrack.
So Provenzano started a service called Right Fit For You, a site to connect people in Chicago with LGBT or gay-friendly trainers: When you can’t tell your trainer you’re gay, he said, your body will never get results.
“The personal trainer experience is really personal and very intimate,” he said. “If you can’t be yourself with them, or if you feel uncomfortable talking about your lifestyle, you won’t be able to reach your full potential.”
People looking for trainers can search based on gender, price and location. About 24 trainers across the Chicago area are in the database, with more than half of them in Lakeview. There’s no upfront fee for the trainer or the client, but if a client ends up signing up with the trainer, 20 percent of the sale goes to Right Fit For You as a referral fee.
As a closeted athlete at his Catholic high school, Provenzano felt his performance would have been better if he were comfortable being open about his sexuality, he said. The gym is already intimidating as it is, he said. Why add another element?
"If you’re not comfortable being open," he said, "you're not going to be able to perform."