At last count, there are 179 out LGBTQ athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympic Games (triple the number at the 2016 Rio Games). And the good folks at Outsports are following along with an imaginary premise of how ‘Team LGBTQ’ would rank if they were all on one team representing one country. Continue reading “Outsports: Olympic Rankings If LGBTQ Athletes Were One Team”
Some news items you might have missed:
• InstaFunny: My buddy Greg Chase shared the above meme about Cinco de Mayo. And I love tacos, I love margaritas and I even like Corona Beer. Dang coronavirus…
• Buzzfeed News: LGBT parents are suffering homophobic and transphobic abuse from their own children during the lockdown, a charity has revealed — while young LGBT people are being thrown out onto the street by parents who discover their child’s sexuality or gender identity.
• Washington Blade: The DC Eagle, the District’s oldest continuously operating gay bar that first opened in 1971, informed its employees Monday night in an online meeting that it was going out of business after learning the building it rented was sold and it would have to move out by September.
• NowThis News: Every time I see these video clips all I can think is, “Imagine what would have happened if the protesters getting in the police officers’ faces had been people of color?” As one person on Twitter wrote, “And just like that, blue lives didn’t matter anymore.” Here are just some of the shocking moments from anti-lockdown protests happening across the U.S.
• The Friendly Atheist: Ohio State Rep. Nino Vitale says he doesn’t want to wear a face mask during the coronavirus health threat because God doesn’t wear one either. “This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask.”
• Vanity Fair: According to sources, an investor group aligned with Donald Trump Jr. and the Dallas-based Hicks family has acquired a major stake in One America News Network, the fledgling conservative cable-news channel that has been reliably pro-Trump.
• Outsports: Dennis Del Valle, a pro volleyball player from Puerto Rico now playing in Switzerland, said it was time to tell the world he is gay. The website 24 Hours reports Del Valle is the first member of a major Swiss men’s team in any sport to come out as gay.
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Some news items you might have missed:
• InstaHunks: Randy Report favorite Dan Tai (above) is doing a photoshoot with Box Menswear in my native state of Texas – and I’m not there! Dan shares this pic saying no filter was used, it was just the gorgeous Texas sunset (and hottie model).
• KIT212: Kenneth rounds up the what’s what in gay magazines across the country.
• Outsports: Two-time Olympic champion Kerron Clement came out publicly today at a Nike event celebrating a new rainbow-inspired track and field at Los Angeles City College. He told Outsports, “I was tired of loving in the dark and being in the dark by myself.”
• Fox News: With Shep Smith’s departure at the conservative news outlet, Chris Wallace is one of the few journalists there trying to be sane. Check out his response to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for calling the current impeachment effort against President Trump “unconstitutional:”
“I am a little surprised at Speaker [@newtgingrich], who I greatly respect. This is the exact opposite of unconstitutional.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 11, 2019
• Newsweek: It took much less time for a majority of Americans to signal their support for impeaching Donald Trump than it did Richard Nixon.
• NewNowNext: Homosexuality is already punishable by up to seven years in prison in Uganda, and the government is now trying to resurrect its ‘kill the gays’ law instituting the death penalty for anyone engaged in same-sex sexual activity, as well as punishing anyone found advocating for LGBTQ people.
• INTO: In an earlier post, I shared my own coming out story. Now check out the ‘Old Gays’ from INTO as they talk on their own coming out. “If I would’ve told anyone I was gay… that would be the end of me.”
|(stock photo via Depositphotos)|
Ok, give me a second here to explain this.
LGBTQ sports site Outsports points up a new study that indicates that the use of homophobic slurs by athletes doesn’t always mean gay athletes wouldn’t be welcome.
I know, that doesn’t sound like it makes sense.
The study, led by Erik Denison at Monash University in Melourne, Australia, looked at attitude and actions of teen rugby players age 16 – 20 towards gay athletes. The research team surveyed 329 athletes (one was gay).
The new study focused on the perspective of non-gay athletes and what they felt the true intentions were for using anti-gay language.
The results show that most young athletes who use terms like “fag” don’t necessarily mean to reject the idea of gay teammates, or express homophobia.
Here’s what Denison found:
• 77 percent of respondents said they’d be comfortable with a gay teammate
• 83 percent of respondents thought a gay player would be welcome on their team
• 87 percent said they believe diversity makes a team stronger
That said, the respondents also admitted they used or have heard language like “fag” or “poof.”
• 78 percent had heard teammates use those terms in the previous two weeks
• 59 percent admitted to using those words themselves in the previous two weeks
• 47 percent said they had been called those terms
So, the majority of those surveyed believe in diversity and think a gay player would be welcome, but they use and hear those words.
Denison wrote in his study:
“This language is likely self-perpetuating, with boys picking up the norm around this language from a young age. Equally, unlike with racist language, where their victim is visible, the lack of openly gay players in male sport means it’s impossible to see the harm of homophobic language.”
In other words, most of the athletes view the anti-gay slurs as ‘general putdowns’ learned at a young age, and not specifically homophobic attacks.
And, since there aren’t any gay athletes on the team (because gay athletes are afraid to come out), no one sees any harm in the use of the words.
Outsports’ Syd Zeigler uses the example of NBA great Kobe Bryant, who in 2011 called a referee a “faggot” during a game.
At the time, when folks became outraged, Bryant reportedly rolled his eyes because the word had been tossed around for so long. He later admitted he didn’t mean the word in a homophobic manner. To him, it was a word, a putdown – like calling someone an idiot.
But, for the first time, the NBA took the use of the word seriously and slapped Bryant with a six-figure fine.
A short time later, another player used the term, got hit up with a big fine, and it became clear the NBA wasn’t going to tolerate the use of the word.
Now, this study doesn’t mean to dismiss the impact of anti-gay language. It clearly needs to be removed from everyone’s vocabularies.
But Denison’s research does seem to indicate that closeted athletes might not be met with as much opposition as they imagine.
And we know visibility breaks down barriers.
Gay/lesbian athletes need to hear a message of support, as well as see homophobic language called out, before they can feel truly comfortable in coming out with confidence.
|Out athlete Gus Kenworthy with rainbow flag (screen capture)|
Out and proud athletes have often flown a rainbow Pride flag before, during or after a competition.
But last week, Outsports reported the International Triathlon Union, the governing body for triathlon events around the world, had effectively banned rainbow flags from being flown at ITU events.
The LGBT sporting site noted that the phrase “sexual orientation” had been quietly added to a rule about displaying ‘propaganda’ two months ago.
Part X regarding the general conduct of athletes read, “Athletes will avoid displaying any kind of demonstration of political, religious, sexual orientation or racial propaganda.”
The penalty for flying or displaying a rainbow pride flag could be disqualification and removal from competition.
At the time, a spokesperson for ITU told Outsports the language was “similar wording that is included in many other sporting organizations.”
The ITU has now reversed course and rescinded the ban on rainbow flags or symbols.
Here’s the new statement via Outsports:
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is aware of articles published recently suggesting that our institution is banning the rainbow flag at our events, and would like to clarify our position.
The ITU has always stood for equality, inclusion and respect, and would never knowingly take such a decision that would infringe on the rights and freedoms of people to express themselves and banning the display of rainbow flags.
In light of the misunderstanding, ITU will immediately revisit the rule to ensure that individuals’ rights of expression continue to be embraced.
ITU regrets that this interpretation of the updated rules could have affected any person. It was never ITU’s intention that anyone could be hurt by this decision, one that was never intended to be taken against any group of individuals, no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.
ITU is proud to be an organisation that is absolutely inclusive from its inception, and will continue to be so in the future.
It’s seems disingenuous to say there was a ‘misunderstanding’ when the ITU spokesperson clearly articulated the new rule to Outsports just last week.
|Out UK athlete Jack Bristow (image via Bristow)|
UK out athlete Jack Bristow told BBC Sport, “Banning the flag ‘for our own good’ is not a good look.”
“It wasn’t really an issue beforehand, so I don’t know why they introduced this rule and it seems to have backfired on them,” he added. “But it’s great they have responded so quickly and been prepared to listen to feedback.”
|Jake Bain of Indiana State University|
Earlier this year I reported on the huge success and popularity of then-high school senior Jake Bain of St. Louis, who had come out as gay to his high school and found widespread acceptance.
As an out athlete, the talented football player received a scholarship and spot on the Indiana State University football team.
Flash-forward to today, where ISU freshman Jake seems to thriving in his new school and with his new teammates.
Outsports’ Jim Buzinski caught up with the handsome 19-year-old who’s showing the world you can be an out athlete and thrive.
Jake tells Outsports that his life at ISU is pretty much like every other freshman.
Even when he Facetimes with his boyfriend, Hunter Sigmund who’s in his freshman year at the University of North Carolina, Bain says he doesn’t feel the need to hide his relationship.
“There are times when we’ll be in the dorms playing video games and I’ll get a Facetime message from Hunter and I don’t get uncomfortable with that,” Bain shared with Outsports. “I don’t feel a need to go into a different room. Everybody knows. A lot of the freshman I’ve been dorming with have seen Hunter and know who he is.”
In fact, Hunter has already been to visit at ISU. Jake has introduced him to fellow football players and everyone is totally cool.
“Hunter came up to Indiana State and I was walking him around campus and passed some of the football guys and introduced Hunter to them and they all treated him like they would somebody’s girlfriend,” Bain said. “They were really nice.”
It’s easy to imagine that Jake is happy to settle into the role of college freshman after a year that included coming out to the world, attending his senior prom with Hunter, and seeing his entire community support him when the virulently anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church attempted to picket Jake at his high school.
Even as he handled all of that with a sense of confidence that would seem way beyond that of a 19-yeear-old, Jake doesn’t seem himself so much as an activist for the LGBT community but as “someone who is willing to be themselves and show everyone it’s ok to be yourself.”
”I try and not put the spotlight on me but instead on the LGBT community as a whole,” he told Outsports. “There’s bunch of people like me, but they’re just not comfortable being out.”
And for anyone who might have worried about Jake fitting in with his new team, he says it’s been exactly the opposite.
“Football is one of those unique sports where there is a true brotherhood that is made, especially when we’re around each other for so much of the day, it gives us a lot of time to really bond with each other.”
“A lot of people assume that because you’re playing a sport like football that there’s assumption that it’s a very masculine sport, and obviously it is, but it doesn’t mean that my teammates won’t be accepting of someone who is gay. It shows how the tide is turning and shows how we have something special here.
”Football gets that hard rep but I think it creates the biggest bond out of any of the sports I have played.”
Jake goes on to share that several players during practice have approached him to let him know they support him and definitely “have his back.”
About the biggest challenge Jake seems to be facing these days is a change of position on the team. As a high school player, Jake was a running back, but his new coaches like his size and speed, so they are training him to transition to defensive back.
Jake had some trepidation about the switch, but it seems to be working for everyone.
In fact, last night Indiana State played its first game of the season against Quincy University and won by a whopping 49-0.
Before last night’s game, Indiana State had suffered a crushing 14-game losing streak. Last season, ISU was 0-11.
So, 0-11 without Jake; 49-0 win with Jake. You do the math 🙂
As we head into the weekend, let’s celebrate the Jake’s success as he shows the world that living authentically is definitely a great game plan.
Make sure you head over to Outsports and check out the full profile.
Outsports shares a heartbreaking account of rampant homophobia in deep rural Louisiana by a gay high school football official.
Although Outsports did confirm the man’s identity, he remains anonymous out of fear of being attacked and losing his job.
Just a sample of the man’s journey through the bigoted world of sports officiating in the South:
Being gay in the Bible Belt has been rough for me, even more so since I’m as deep in the South as you can get. Rural southern Louisiana is somewhere you don’t want to be known as being gay. You will be treated like a third-class citizen because people think there is something wrong with being gay. So it came as no shock to me when I started officiating that I would hear gay slurs from fans and other officials, even though no one knew my secret.
One of my first years as an official I was on a football playoff crew headed to northwest Louisiana for a game, a four-hour drive away. Somehow the conversation in the van turned to gay rights. I had to listen to the guys rant and rave about how it is an abomination.
“Fags are what’s wrong with this country.”
“I don’t see what’s so desirable about a man’s ass.”
“How can a real man not want to be with a beautiful babe?”
“There is something wrong with them, probably was abused growing up.”
And it just gets worse from there.
The official recounts an episode where a mother thought she saw an official kiss another man as he got out of his car, and was immediately labeled a “pedophile.” Not long after parents began passing out bumper stickers that said, “Fags = sex offenders.”
Another official was demonized as “gay” for having a naturally high-pitched voice. That made him a target.
“That cocksucker will never work with me again,” the white hat said. “His fucking gay ass did nothing but give us problems. That little cocksucker even had the audacity to tell me that I missed a call! I told him that he could go fuck himself, because I’m sure he has his own dildo to do it with.”
In the end, the anonymous official says he’s thought about leaving the South many times but family and friends keep him there.
I have thought about leaving Louisiana many times, but various things have kept me here, from family to work. It always seems as if I’m just not meant to leave. Now that we have marriage equality, I know things will continue to change. I know people will become more accepting. I’ve even started coming out to close friends and family members.
Make sure you read the entire account. While life does get better, in many parts of the country it gets lost how ugly homophobia can be.
Nike has presented the LGBT Sports Coalition with a check for $200k to fund the projects of coalition members. The presentation was held this morning at the Nike Store at The Grove in Los Angeles.
For the last two years, Nike has held the LGBT Sports Summit in Portland, Ore., during the city’s Pride celebration. From this year’s summit emerged the formalized LGBT Sports Coalition, comprised of a couple dozen organizations and individuals dedicated to ending anti-LGBT bias in sports by 2016.
Earlier this year, Nike dedicated the proceeds from their 2013 #BeTrue line to the Coalition. According to Robert Goman, chairman of the Nike LGBT & Friends Network, the line of shirts and shoes sold better than expected, resulting in a much larger donation than anyone had expected.
Read more at OutSports.com