Not that proof is needed, right? But some people really do still think being gay means being bad at sports!
Sports aren’t always seen as being a safe space to be open about one’s sexuality as an LGBT+ individual. Some fear losing their jobs if they come out as LGBT+, while others feel uncomfortable by the cultures of homophobic banter that are sometimes promoted in sports, and the pressures placed on masculinity and femininity.
Some sports even involve homophobic rituals of initiation or use homophobic remarks as “motivation” for their players. In this week’s video marking the launch of the #ComeOut2Play campaign, I discuss my own personal experiences with my identity and how it affected my relationship with sports in this video, so give it a watch and leave your own stories of being LGBT+ in sport in the comment section!
I wanted to get a perspective on being a woman in sport environments as well, so I talked with a lesbian writer from Cardiff university, Sarah Allen, who told me that the main place she experienced homophobia during sports was in school, and specifically in the changing rooms.
She says that, “Something about the insecurity of undressing in front of others always brought out the ‘omg, she’s looking at me, she must be gay’ side of the girls. I was so aware, I remained right in the corner and changed faster than anyone else and got out of the room faster.”
Everyone should be able to be themselves no matter where they are or what they’re doing — that’s why it’s so great that Out News Global is championing this new campaign, where everyone can show their solidarity and support for footballers afraid of the backlash being themselves will have on their careers as professional athletes.
I encourage you all to get involved with the #ComeOut2Play campaign!
Subscribe to Bradley’s fast-growing YouTube channel here!