Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 02 2013 6:00 AM ET
UPDATE: Curves International was recently sold by former owner Gary Heavin, and is now owned by North Castle Partners. Curves' CEO is now Monty Sharma. The fitness chain also announced in November a partnership with Jillian Michaels starting in January 2014.
SWEAT HERE: Crunch (and others)
NOT THERE: Curves
Don't go buying your pals a two-for-one membership to finally get fit in the new year at Curves. This chain of gyms built specifically for women to work out in a safe, comfortable environment boasts 10,000 locations across 60 countries. With the success of the company, the CEO has become a major donor to organizations that oppose reproductive rights, and the company has partnered up with the antigay group, American Family Association, in the past. The AFA is rated as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. CEO Gary Heavin, a born-again Christian, apparently lived next door at one time to President George W. Bush and is a major supporter to multiple Republican fundraising organizations. While Crunch is not on the HRC index, the company started to make exercise fun in New York's East Village in the late '80s. And nowadays Crunch boasts a ton of fun class options, including a few by lady-loving fitness phenom Jillian Michaels. It isn't the only option, that's for sure. Equinox, David Barton Gym, and many more serve LGBT clients with pride.
Written by Michelle Garcia, Trudy Ring, Daniel Reynolds, Sunnivie Brydum, and Lucas Grindley. Graphics by Tiara Chiaramonte.