Justice Williams is a trans body positive activist who has been creating safe spaces for queer and trans bodies in the Boston area since 2013. Justice is also a personal trainer who wants to redefine fitness for individual bodies, and we're thrilled to have him as this month's Body Positive Superhero! Each month we're highlighting the work of one of our heroes of the Body Positive Fitness community. Justice reminds us that working out is not about punishment, but a celebration of movement. He recently kicked off the Queer Open Gym Pop Up, providing safe space and instruction for those who don't feel comfortable in traditional gyms. Read our full interview below.
Who is your superhero?
My Mom is my superhero. She is the most loving person I have ever met.
What's your favorite activity?
Kettlebell skills practice.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is my passion to create positive change in the lives of those I meet.
What is your personal fitness routine?
I don't think of my fitness as a routine. Movement is a part of my life, whether it be my training, my body, or my activism within my community. I practice Kettlebell skills daily and work to remind myself exactly how powerful I have become!
"Because each act that I do with my body is an act of revolution." - KBJ
What changes your perspective on fitness? Why and when?
As a trans individual learning to be in my skin as an activist and a coach, I recognize that today’s fight for Body Justice includes coaches and trainers who are often seen as gatekeepers and spokespeople for the fitness industry. We, as gatekeepers, can take action to support our clients and contradict the harmful messages that the industry perpetuates. As a coach, I believe it is my responsibility to create an environment for my clients to reach their full potential, and because of this, I find my work does not end simply when our session ends. This work requires me to recognize and then eradicate the negative judgments that I, personally, have absorbed from our culture, and instead meet people in the skin they are in.
While I often find myself fighting a larger system that seeks to control and dictate how we live in our bodies, as a coach, I choose to stand up and say, “Hands off our bodies - fitness belongs to us all!”
When did you change your own relationship with fitness? What was the pivotal moment?
My Trans identity helped me to understand that I am not alone in feeling isolation and estrangement in this body. I am more than skin and bones, but what's in between. Fitness helps me stay connected to the in-between, I feel centered in my power! And now I see that I am here to guide others.
Is there anything special you're working on that you want to promote?
I'm working on a Fitness For All Bodies Seminar on Sunday, January 26, 2020. This event will promote body positivity and encourage trainers to understand how to work with, include, and respect all kinds of bodies in their practice. This will be a five hour seminar featuring a diverse group of trainers in my community who focus on body positive training. The first half of the event will be a two hour speaking panel to discuss the movement to change toxic gym culture. Following a lunch break, the second session with be interactive for the audience. Each trainer will lead a twenty minute body positive workout.
While I’m specifically targeting trainers for this event, my vision is to keep it open to the public as well. This is a body positive event, and I hope to share this practice with as many people as possible. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to get involved.