Tag Archives: Portfolio

Reflections on Gender, a photo essay

Gendered rules of genderqueerness 

When I came out as non-binary, I had no gender diverse friends, family or acquaintances. With no role models or anyone in solidarity with me, I took to the Internet. These online sources shaped what I thought I ought to feel and look like as a non-binary person. Also via the Internet, I began to make non-binary friends. These people were extremely influential in my understanding of being non-binary. These sources of information, however, were nowhere near helpful. In fact, they were pretty detrimental to my understanding and acceptance of my identity. In no time, I went from loving femininity, girlhood and myself, to chopping my hair, concealing my body, trying to lower my voice and developing hatred and disgust towards my body and myself. I thought I was way too feminine. I learnt I wasn’t a valid non-binary person unless I was strictly embracing masculinity. This meant short hair, no makeup, a thin androgynous body and dysphoria. I tried going with this narrow conception of non-binary gender, but I was miserable. I went through so much unlearning to get to where I am with my gender(s) today, but now I love my femininity, masculinity and androgyny all together and understand that there is no one way to be non-binary.  

Feminine Menstrual products 

I’m non-binary. I get periods. I’m tired of period products being referred to as “feminine”. I’m all for pushing to call these things “menstrual products”. “Menstrual” is way more accurate than “feminine” anyway. These products are for menstruation, and menstruation shouldn’t be gendered. Anyone can menstruate, regardless of any gendered designations. There’s nothing feminine about my non-binary uterus lining shedding; there’s nothing feminine about a trans-masculine or trans-male person’s uterus lining shedding; there’s nothing feminine about a masculine woman’s uterus lining shedding. A uterus is not inherently feminine; reproductive organs have no gender; they’re socially constructed as such. 

I didn’t think anything of my period pre-identifying-as-non-binary, but due to gender essentialist social constructions of reproductive organs, when I came out, I began experiencing immense, sometimes even debilitating dysphoria about my set of organs. It was especially distressing during menstruation. I put in a lot of work towards unlearning this essentialist, binary gendering and unearning my internalized transphobia, and while this took a lot of time, I finally am comfortable again with my body and its functions, and I can confidently assert that there’s nothing feminine about my non-binary menstruation cycle or the menstruation products I use.  

Bras, binders, bumless panties and boxers 

I don’t know why, I mean no one’s going to see my underwear, but wearing gender affirming undergarments makes all the difference in my self-validation and overall confidence. With my vast collection of underwear, from bras I haven’t worn since adopting the term ‘non-binary’, to binders, to sports bras, to bralets, to boxers, briefs, bikinis, and backless panties, it’s almost like I can achieve any gender identity through matching up my underwear to my internal sense of identity. Choosing my coveted combinations allows me to engage with self-determination and validation of my subconscious perception of gender. So, every morning before getting ready for the day, I sit down with myself and contemplate, “what’s my gender today?”. With limitless possibilities, this reflection could go in any direction. Sometimes it’s an easy answer. Popular conclusions include: Dickies Dyke, femme boy, trans masc, femme, soft butch slutty, anything, all of it, and/or nothing at all. Sometimes I just won’t be able to find any clothes that feel good and right. On unfortunate occasions, it’s a distressing introspection into dysphoria and internalized erasure. Regardless, the most important step of getting ready is always selecting precisely the right gendered combination of undergarments.  

Hairy, man-hating, bra-burning, lesbian feminist 

I stopped shaving my legs in grade 10. It wasn’t political; I just couldn’t be bothered to upkeep the hairless legs I thought I was supposed to have. Then I started seeing posts about it being radical to stop shaving. These were mainly made by white and/or liberal feminists, and while I roll my eyes at them now, these strains of feminism were my gateways into the intersectional feminism that I now embrace. At the time, I hadn’t yet had my non-binary awakening. I remember thinking to myself, “huh, this is a way to keep women subordinate… Fuck that. I’m gonna flaunt my hairy legs with pride now”. And although there are way more radical acts of resistance, and despite being exhausted by liberal feminists constantly talking about their long blue armpit hair and nothing else, not shaving my legs really is quite liberating; first, as a fuck you to patriarchal Western beauty standards, second in my own identity as a dyke and a trans non-binary genderqueer femme boy. Although they’re generalizations aimed to depreciate feminism and pigeon-hole feminists, I find the stereotypes of a feminist personally amusing… Hairy, man-hating, bra-burning, lesbians? I pretty much check all of those boxes.  

Consequences of presenting femme 

I pass a man on the street. He looks at me, I smile faintly, he smiles back. His eyes burn into me. They crawl up my legs. He doesn’t even speak to me, but I feel violated. I’m late. I have no time to dwell. I think to myself, “I look femme today, so I guess this is how it’s gonna go… I do make a hot femme…” I shrug. Without a second thought, earphones in, I keep speed walking. He chases me. He must have walked a couple blocks in the other direction then turned around and ran – sprinted – down the street after me. Out of breath, he runs up behind me. I take an earphone out. He tells me he doesn’t mean to scare me but I’m cute and he had to tell me. He asks me out. I say I have a girlfriend. I keep speed walking. He follows. He asks, “you’re gay?”. I say yes. He asks me if I “want to try straight”. 

This is what I was wearing. (Note: he was East Asian, I look extra EA wearing an oriental shirt, I wonder if this had anything to do with his interest in me).  

If you like me, you’re gay. If you’re not down with the gays, get lost. 

Inserting image...

I’m vocal on my social media about my disdain towards men. I have been since high school, which is when I realized I was gay, and also, probably more importantly, when I confidently established that men are trash. Then I realized I was non-binary. I’m vocal about that too. Social media (well, some platforms) is a place where I can assert myself confidently and safely. I post about social justice, emphasis on LGBTQ+ justice and intersectionality. I post sometimes about the harassment I face; I talk about how I face an increase in harassment when I present as femme. I reblog spells on Tumblr to repel and curse homophobes and transphobes who may visit my blog. I lose a lot of (straight, white, cisgender, male, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic) followers for this reason. I think this is a nice cleanse. 

I posted this meme one time on Instagram, I think in 1st year, and captioned it “@ cishet men: if you like me, you’re gay, so either admit you’re gay or leave me the f*ck alone”. I lost so many male followers, hahaha. Mainly the guys from high school who hadn’t unfollowed me yet for my other posts calling men out. 

Dragon-Phoenix, Yin-Yang 

My cheongsams and other Chinese clothing represent the intersection of my gender and ethnicity. I own both women’s and men’s Chinese clothing, partially because I don’t care for the gendering of clothing, but mainly because I find it all beautiful, and a way to connect to my culture through diaspora. I used to feel ashamed of my Chinese ethnicity and hated being mixed-race because of Eurocentrism and internalized racism, but after years of repressing my Chineseness, I now feel so content and connected in my Chinese attire. Aside from wearing clothing regardless of gender, I also embody the symbolism of the dragon and the phoenix. Both associated with prosperity, the former is associated with masculinity and the latter with femininity. Together they are harmonious, like the symbolism of yin and yang. I feel empowered by my embodiment of both the dragon and the phoenix, as well as by my ability to wear both phoenix and dragon symbols and to wear both “women’s” and “men’s” clothing. 

Flower-like beautiful boy  

Until researching for this project, I only knew of binary terms for Chinese lesbians: and Po. These are comparable to butch and femme respectively. Being genderqueer, I didn’t know which I’d be categorized as, and I had no other language for the conjunction of my sexuality and gender outside of these terms. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I read Hu (2017) and learnt some new terms. While and po are connoted with lesbian gender expression, I learnt that in Chinese and other East Asian cultures, zhongxing and huameinan are used to describe gender expression more broadly (Hu 2017). Hu focuses on the term zhongxing, which literally means “gender neutrality,” but also mentions that huameinan means “flower-like beautiful boys” (183). I love being a beautiful boy and adore the idea of being a flower-like beautiful boy. Despite being genderless by literal translation, zhongxing is increasingly used to describe women whose gender expression leans towards masculine (Hu 2017). This term resonates with me too, and I especially like the way Hu describes zhongxing style: 

Typical outfits include stylish short hair commonly seen in popular men’s fashion magazines, well-tailored shirts or polo shirts in a masculine style, loose jeans or khakis, name brand sneakers, and sometimes sports bras or breast binders. Swaggering steps and dauntless attitudes often characterize the ways they carry themselves. (183) 

This pretty accurately describes how I generally like to dress and carry myself. I love having these new terms to describe myself, relating to both my gender and ethnicity.  

Image source:  

Dickies Dyke 

I started calling myself a Dickies Dyke. Firstly, because I like the consonance. Secondly, I very stereotypically love my Dickies. Lastly, I love the word dyke. Roberts (1979) traces the trajectory of the word, outlining its connotation with masculine lesbians, addressing the traditional derogatory meaning, and discussing the politicized reclamation. My foreparents’ reclaimed meaning of “dyke” is associated with activism, resistance, strength, pride, independence and self-determination. Although generally reclaimed regarding sexual orientation, and while I am a dyke in this sense, I feel like “dyke” accurately describes my gender. I know it typically refers to a masculine gay woman, but despite not being a woman, the term really resonates. In a sense I have reappropriated “dyke” again for my own self-determination. To me, as an AFAB person attracted to femininity whose gender fluctuates through femme, femme boy, trans-masc, agender, and several other gender designations, I feel that my sexual orientation in conjunction with my gender accurately places me in the realm of dykeyness. I’m a dyke. I love women and femmes. I’m not as masc as a butch, nor as strictly fem as a femme. I’m strong and independent. I’m an activist. I’m super queer and proud.  

Everything is drag (reflections on makeup and genderfluidity, genderfluxivity) 

I was trying to choose a new profile picture, so I was going through my best selfies. I narrowed it down to two options and couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Not to reduce gender to mutually exclusive binary categories, but I really selected the most masc photo of myself and the most femme. I’m in straight up drag makeup in these two photos; the first being masc drag, the second being femme, both done by my talented girlfriend. 

I know that when I posted the femme photo earlier on Instagram, most people just saw a g*rl in glam makeup, but my girlfriend and I know that I was a boy that day and that she asked to doll me up in femme glam drag. The masc drag photo is pretty clearly drag. I wish that people saw the femme photo as drag too. And I mean honestly, being genderfluid and genderflux, any makeup I ever have on borders drag. It’s all a way to manipulate my appearance anywhere from genderless to an all-encompassing gender, from masculine to feminine, anywhere in ambiguity and androgyny.  

References 

Hu, Yu-Ying. “Mainstreaming female masculinity, signifying lesbian visibility: The rise of the zhongxing phenomenon in transnational Taiwan”. Sexualities, vol. 22, no. 1-2, 2019, pp. 182-202. Sage Journals, doi:10.1177/1363460717701690. Accessed 10 Oct 2019. 

Roberts, JR. “In America They Call Us Dykes: Notes on the Etymology and Usage of ‘Dyke’”. Edited by Harriet Desmoines and Catherine Nicholson. Sinister Wisdom, vol. 9, 1979, pp. 2-11. http://sinisterwisdom.org/sites/default/files/Sinister%20Wisdom%209.pdf. Accessed 19 Oct 2019. 

Existential Femininity: A Social Constructionist Perspective Queering Femininity

Femininity is socially constructed and, as such, can be embodied by any individual in any individualized manner. In this argument I present the concept of ‘femininity’ as an ever-changing construct dependent on time and space/place. Informed by social constructionist, intersectional feminist, queer and existential theory, I suggest that if femininity is in a constant state of redefinition, everyone can define femininity in their own terms. I position femininity in a matrix of gender that consists of gender identity, gender expression, assigned gender, gender attribution, gender roles and various forms of gender oppression, including sexism, misogyny, cissexism, non-binary erasure and gender essentialism. The matrix of gender is further situated in a broader matrix of intersectionality, connecting identity markers of gender to race, class, colonialism, imperialism, geographical location and all other social locations. This argument is based on my knowledge and experience as a non-binary Gender Studies, Sociology and Philosophy student; I draw from the education I have attained both in post-secondary institutions and in my own time. 

To lay down the groundwork, it is essential to understand the complexity and multiplicity of gender. Gender is malleable and fluid. Gender is an abstract concept, far more complex than the simplified Western explanations that are rooted in oppressive hierarchies and false binaries. Moreover, while traditional Western conceptions of gender seem simplistic, equating penis = male = boy = man = masculine and vagina = female = girl = woman = feminine, these definitions are easily complexified and confused. Under the premise of the Western conception of gender, the aforementioned equations are mutually exclusive; that is to say that there are two gender categories that exist separately, never to coincide. The mere existence of gender diversity, however, shows how inaccurate these categories are. For example, there are men who are feminine and women who are masculine; there are people who are both feminine and masculine and people who are neither feminine nor masculine. There are people who are neither men nor women. There are women with penises, men with vaginas, people with neither of those organs or a mixture of the two. And there is an infinite amount of further diversity in gender that disrupts the gender binary. In addition to seeing how the Western gender system is flawed in itself, it is essential to see how this system is niche to the rest of the world. While the Western world operates under a binary gender system, there are other countries and cultures that acknowledge third genders. For example, in India there is a third gender category called ‘hijra’; in Indigenous cultures the modern umbrella term for someone of a third-gender is “two-spirit”. In reality, constructions of gender differ from place to place and throughout time, but through the lens of the Western world, the gender system should operate on their binary terms. The Western gender system is rooted in oppression, colonialism and imperialism.  

By exemplifying how complex and diverse the concept of gender is, this lays the foundation for combatting gender essentialism. Gender essentialism is the assumption that gender is fixed and innate, that gender is something that everyone is born with and that remains a static characteristic. The premise of gender essentialism and of the gender binary go hand in hand on the common ground of equating penis = male = boy = man = masculine and vagina = female = girl = woman = feminine. Gender essentialism dictates that if you are born with a penis (or the resemblance of one) you are assigned a male sex and gender, and as such you are inherently masculine; if you are born with a vagina (or the resemblance of one) you are assigned a female sex and gender, and as such you are inherently feminine. The previous evidence of how changeable the definition and embodiment of gender is, though, renders gender essentialism unreliable. The conflations of gender essentialism leads to the construction of gender roles, but again, these roles are unreliable and ever-changing. For example, a present-day gender role is that pink is for girls; however, pink was actually coded as a masculine until the mid 1900’s. Other gender roles that currently exist are that men are dominant, assertive, active, bread-winners, strong and rational. Women take the role of the ‘other’, meaning that they are everything that men are not; moreover, gender roles dictate that women are submissive, docile, passive, emotional and sensitive. These roles can be problematized from various angles. First, by simply comparing the masculine roles to the feminine roles, it is clear that these roles are steeped in sexism. This gender-based oppression is evident in the way that male roles are primarily positive and powerful, while female roles are weak and devalued. Not only are these roles rooted in sexism, but they are clearly overgeneralizations. Again, by simply contemplating the gender diversity that exists within society, one can see how these gendered traits are not innate characteristics dependent on sex assignment, but rather are developed behaviors that people of any gender can embody at varying degrees. Further, these traits are gendered according to the contexts of time and space/place. 

So, if gender and its associates can be so easily disrupted, conflated, complicated and confused, and since gender is in a constant state of flux, dependent on the contexts of time and space/place, I present a conception of femininity that reflects the changeability of gender. First, femininity can be embodied by anyone, regardless of gender. Second, femininity can be defined by any individual to mean any number of things. Gender is socially constructed, and social constructions are ever-changing; femininity, being a branch of the construction of gender, then, follows suit. The characteristics of ‘femininity’ are constantly negotiated by the values of the society and culture it is contextualized in; further, these values change over time. Most basic to this conception, yet most theoretically complex and existential, femininity can be anything. Femininity is an unexclusive attribution; femininity can be attributed infinitely in this space-time continuum.  

Everything is Drag

Introduction

This photo essay delves into the complexity of drag culture and non-binary identity through an auto-ethnographic study. With the help of my girlfriend, I transform into several drag looks then reflect on the process in relation to gender identity. Each look has a drag name, pronouns, a unique persona, and a song that they would perform to. The project explores drag in relation to gender performativity and gender roles. In the process, I find that drag, for me, functions as an extension of my gender and allows me to perform and embody heightened gendered expressions.

Tuxedhoe Masc

Pronouns: He/him/his

Song: Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys) – Rina Sawayama

Tuxedhoe Masc is a femme boy. He is here and he is queer. He is gay and here to say, ‘down with toxic masculinity!’ A play on Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, the ideal dream boy, Tuxedhoe Masc is indeed a dreamboat. He is tall, dark and handsome. He is mysterious like Tuxedo Mask, but still emotionally available. He is in touch with his feminine side, his masculinity, and the fluidity of his gender, while still being a confident ladies’ man. Tuxedhoe Masc performs feminist masculinities, disrupting traditional gendered expectations, rejecting male dominance and female degradation, and reinventing masculinity as queer (Basaliere, 2019). Feminist masculinities acknowledge the overarching social contexts in which gendered performances play out, and creates a space for new, healthy masculinities.

Ms Dyswhoria

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Song: Femmebot (feat. Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco) – Charli XCX

Ms Dyswhoria is a bit of a slut. She uses her femininity to play the patriarchal system and get what she wants. She’s a queer queen who fakes straight when she wants something she couldn’t otherwise attain. This act of ‘realness’ (Bailey, 2011) is an act of resilience. The name of this drag look is a play on gender dysphoria. As an AFAB non-binary person, who hasn’t undergone any transition except for some chest binding, in a world where gender roles are rampant, I experience so much social dysphoria. By performing a heightened femininity, I feel as though I’m sticking it to those who dictate that non-binary has a certain look (androgynous, thin, white). I can be hyper-femme and non-binary. Further, I can use that hyper-femininity to exploit the binary gender system that enforces the roles that make me feel this dysphoria.

Stoned Priestx

Pronouns: Xe/xem/xyrs

Song: XS – Rina Sawayama

Stoned Priestx is so extra. Xe doesn’t conform to any rules. This look was the most fun and most difficult to create. Not wanting to conform to masculinity or femininity in anyway, Stoned Priestx beats xyr face to reject traditional gender roles and create endless queer gender possibilities. To xem, traditional gender roles mean nothing; xe envisions a future of queerness and fluidity when it comes to gender. Stoned Priestx breaks the binary and embraces a matrix of infinite gender possibilities. Xe performs to XS by Rina Sawayama as the song is about wanting “more, more, more, more, more,” and Stoned Priestx wants to be the most. Xe is inspired by club kid style and culture which centralizes gender fluidity, extravagance, and DIY aesthetics (Boulay, 2020).

Mixxxed Dynasty

Pronouns: Any

Song: Dynasty – Rina Sawayama

Mixxxed Dynasty is all mixxxed up. In terms of gender, they are queer and fluid. Racially, she is a mix of Chinese, Irish, English and Welsh heritage. This look is an act of reclamation of the appropriation of xyr Chinese culture that frequents the mainstream. White girls is cheongsams, white boys in changshans, popular brands using traditional oriental patterns and materials… The list goes on. Mixxxed Dynasty may be all mixxxed up, but he is sure of one thing: He is tired of the appropriation and bastardization of his culture and he wants to take it back. Mixxxed Dynasty performs to Dynasty by Rina Sawayama, who is also queer and of East Asian descent.

Dimsumdyke

Pronouns: They/them/theirs

Song: Immaterial – SOPHIE

Dimsumdyke is just as their name suggests: A big ol’ dyke. This final look portrays how, for me, everything is drag. Even my day to day looks feel like drag as non-binary, genderfluid individual. Dimsumdyke’s look is a casual look, nothing campy or extra about it at all, as Dimsumdyke is very shy by nature. They perform to Immaterial by SOPHIE as the lyrics reflect the binary that they feel simultaneously caught between and outside. Further, the more camp-like nature of the song contrasts their shy nature to reflect the internal conflict between being a raging genderqueer dyke and the constraints of conforming to society and appearing ‘acceptable’.

Conclusion

Drag is an art form that can be embodied infinitely. For some drag performers, a drag persona is separate from their day-to-day self (CBC Arts, 2020). Conversely, for other performers, including myself, it is nearly impossible to differentiate between drag and day-to-day gender. This project unveiled realms of gendered possibilities for me, all of which overlap in one way or another. The fluidity of gender is quite apparent in my transformations and queering and rejection of traditional gendered expectations. My drag functions to dismantle oppressive systems and create new, healthy, infinite gender possibilities.

References

Bailey, Marlon. “Gender/ Racial Realness: Theorizing the Gender System in Ballroom Culture.” Feminist Studies, 37.2 (2011): 365-386.

Basilere, Jae. “Staging Dissents: Drag kings, resistance, and feminist masculinities.” Signs, 44.4 (2019): pp. 979- 999.

Boulay, Nadine. “Week 5- June 12th.” Simon Fraser University, 12 June 2020.

CBC Arts. “We are not worthy of the talents of non-binary ‘drag thing’ Rose Butch.” 14 Feb 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJaOzlAyoLo.

Portfolio Entry #11

I’ve known Sherman for quite a while now to the point where I don’t even remember whether I met him as member of Club 16 or an employee. But I can definitely say he’s one of the most down to earth people I know at the gym which is always a nice trait to see from people. He’s always open to learning and trying out new things when it comes to effective exercises or anything fitness related that may be beneficial for him as well. We always have a small chat whenever we bump into each other at the gym and I had a chance to ask him a few questions to see what he’s been up to in terms of his fitness goals. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your current occupation?

A bartender

How often do you train per week?

Usually three times a week

What are your current fitness goals?

Nothing specific, I just want to stay in shape.

What would you say is your style of training?

Mainly bodybuilding

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has given me more energy, self-confidence, and definitely more discipline on myself

What would you say your favourite exercise is?

Dumbbell bench press

If people wanted to get to know more about you, where can they find you?

They can find me at Club 16.

Portfolio Entry #10

I met Yancey last year in 2018 when I was still working as a customer service representative at Club 16. Me and another member named Rod would do these challenges every week, with holding a plank for as long as possible being one of them. One day we invited Yancey over to come take part of the challenge and he was up for it. Fast forward to a couple months later, I had left Club 16 for about 6 months and came back as a returning member at the beginning of this year. I had the opportunity to chat with Yancey and see what he’s been up to. Here’s what he had to say with the questions I had lined up for him:

What is your occupation?

I’m a business consultant

How often do you train per week?

Right now, I’m usually getting to the gym about 4 times a week.

What are your current fitness goals?

Building strength and improving flexibility

What is your style of training?

I would say it’s mostly weightlifting, I would usually do a 2 muscle split sort of training each day.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has changed my mental outlook. I feel more balanced and definitely helps me sleep easier as well.

If you had to choose one exercise that is your favourite, which would it be?

Lat pulldown

And lastly, if people wanted to know more about you, where can they find you?

On Facebook

Portfolio Entry #9


I had the chance to catch up with J.C. to see how his progress towards his goals have been coming along since the last time we spoke, and as he is quite versatile in his training in terms of incorporating different styles of lifts, I was curious to hear what he had to say:

Since the last time we’ve spoke, how have your goals been coming along?

It’s been going quite well so far, I noticed that my work capacity has increased in terms of being able to get more sets and repetitions in with heavier weights.

What does your general training split look like per week?

Generally on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays I do a full body routine where I train just about every muscle group in one session. Every other day I focus on my weaknesses and do corrective exercises that help even out imbalances and rehabilitation.

Do you currently take any supplements to help your performance in the gym?

Currently, I am taking pre-workout and whey protein.

Have you experienced any obstacles that may have slowed you down in being able to achieve your goals that you have set?

A major one for me is overworking my legs, which can result in knee pain and minor tendinitis. Being tired during workouts can be tough as well when trying to complete exercises.

And lastly, if someone wanted to get started on their own fitness goals, but didn’t know how to or where to start, what advice would you give them?

Just follow your gut and don’t worry about what others think. Truth is no one is really watching what you’re doing as they’re busy with their own workout.

Portfolio Entry #8

I have decided to put a pause on new entries for my portfolio and instead, will be going back to some of the people that I have already spoken to and follow up with them and get an update as to where they’re currently at. I was able to speak to Miguel last week to see whats been up with him and here’s what he had to say.

Since the last time we’ve spoke, how have your goals been coming along?

I’ve been able to build a good amount of strength since then. But in terms of my diet, it has still been a bit of a challenge for me. It’s pretty difficult to discipline myself to choose healthier options and is something I’m still working on.

What does your general training split look like per week?

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, I usually do a full body training routine. Every other day I would focus primarily on single muscle groups.

Do you currently take any supplements to help your performance in the gym?

Yes, just pre-workout and protein.

Have you experienced any obstacles that may have slowed you down in being able to achieve your goals that you have set?

The main obstacle that I face at the moment would have to be my form. At the moment, I’m trying to improve my form to prevent any injuries opposed to increasing the weight in my workouts.

If someone wanted to get started on their own fitness goals, but didn’t know how or where to start, what advice would you give them?

I say just go in to the gym and do it and try to get past the self-consciousness.