Fitness collective NOT DEAD YET is hosting a fundraiser rave at Electrowerkz on Friday 6 October to raise money to provide free fitness classes for LGBTQIA+ QPOC, non-binary and trans folk.
Going to the gym can be intimidating, especially if you are LGBTQ+ and potentially even more so if you a minority within the rainbow spectrum.
That’s why Ryan Lanji, founder of the queer Bollywood club night HUNGAMA and a 2023 Attitude Pride Award winner, launched NOT DEAD YET (NDY), a fitness collective offering free exercise classes for LGBTQIA+ QPOC, non-binary and trans folk.
Since launching NDY in 2020 Ryan has partnered with Adidas to take his concept from digital classes to physical sessions in London.
“I want to make sure we’re all taking care of ourselves, our bodies, and our minds”
Speaking to Attitude about NDY’s “FUND RAVER” Ryan said, “When we started NDY we were working with the queer people of colour from the East London club scene and their DJ’s, performers, and promoters were helping us spread the word.
“After we began hosting classes physically in gyms we paired each class with a London queer night. This provided a transition between subculture and the gym space. There are so many people who want to experience club culture and be a part of community but in this climate, it’s not sustainable for many and often amplifies the demons and trauma of queer people.”
He went on to mention that Electrowerkz has been a champion of NDY. They have offered a space to bring together NDY with the DJs parties that helped them along the way so far.
Ryan added he’s pleased to be working with Adidas and called on people to help support NDY.
“We can use more support and want to ensure our community is being paid properly and we are creating more opportunity for queer/trans/nonbinary people to enter the fitness industry.”
The event will feature DJs Shivum Sharma, Joel Mignott (Jungle Kitty), India Bailey, Lucia Blayke (Transvision), Donnie Sunshine, and DJ Kizzi (Hungama).
“We can change the outlook for queer young people while welcoming them into gym spaces”
Ryan explained why NDY is so vital to the community. He said “I feel like mental health and fitness don’t make space for our community. I know it’s affected me and many around me. The new generation is able to have queer role models and I want to make sure we’re all taking care of ourselves, our bodies, and our minds.
“When it comes to the gym we are often thrown into hetero-typically centered spaces on our own where we feel alone or triggered. If we can start providing free fitness to queer/trans/non-binary people in spaces that need to learn to accommodate them we can begin nourishing our bodies and see more success stories.
“I feel if we can make this community visible, strong, and create a sense of queer joy when it comes to fitness we can change the outlook for queer young people while welcoming them into gym spaces.”
Ryan also hopes the event will raise between £2K-£3K. Tickets are being sold on a £5-£15 sliding scale – pay what you can.
Tickets are available here.