5 questions with Billy Young
Billy Young is co-owner and managing partner of the Turtle Creek Athletic Club, located at the site of the former Centrum Sports Club in Oak Lawn. Young, who is gay, and co-owner Michael Liebermann, say they hope for the fitness gym to become a more visible and active participant in Dallas’ LGBT community. The Web site for the gym is www.tcathletic.com.
When did you move to Dallas?
I moved to Dallas from Houston last April for a job with a big insurance company, even though I had left the insurance business in 2003. I accepted the job out of loyalty to an old boss, but I soon realized it was a big mistake. I was done with the corporate world.
So how did you end up as co-owner of a fitness club?
I am very deeply committed to living a healthy lifestyle, and it has always been my dream job to do something involving fitness. I had read an article in Dallas Voice about a job at Turtle Creek Athletic Club. So I contacted the club, and the next thing I knew, there I was. Michael and I share a vision of this being more than a gym, of it being a real destination for the LGBT community.
What does the gym have to offer to help you meet that goal?
We see the gym as an alternative to the nightclub scene, a place that is healthy for the mind and the body. We have joined the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and we hope to have a mixer at the gym in 2007. We want the gym to contribute to community fundraisers.
What is your role in reaching that goal?
My role is to become very involved in networking within the GLBT community. It’s good for the gym, and it helps me as a newcomer to Dallas. Networking through business can help me develop a social base here, too.
What is it about a fitness club, to you, that draws gay people to it?
Personally, as a gay man, I have always recognized the importance of being part of the larger whole. To have somewhere to go where I can just be who I am and do what I do best is great. It is great to be able to have discussions with people, talk to people without having to scream to be heard. And you just feel good when you are doing good things for your body.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact senior editor Tammye Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 24, 2006.