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Athlete Ally

March 25, 2011

Here’s a really inspiring story coming from the States. An All American wrestler, Hudson Taylor, has created a website called Athlete Ally , which is a wonderful resource to help support individuals, families and friends, who have been victims of homophobic comments, gestures or acts in the world of athletics. Being heavily involved in sport, as a gymnast for the majority of my life, I can say that this type of tool is absolutely essential. I know firsthand how difficult it is to be both an athlete and gay. The competitive nature of sport leads to some verbal jostling, and too often it takes the form of homophobic remarks.

Obviously some sports will be more susceptible to this kind of abrasive and unhealthy environment. But what I think is important to note is that the source of this type of behaviour is not limited to within the sport. Myself, having been a gymnast, I dealt with the weekly harassment of being called a “fag” or “gay” for practicing a “girl’s sport”. I spent all my teenage years denying my sexuality due in large part to my own persistence in not wanting to reinforce this stereotype.

I’m not saying it’s easier to be out in one sport or another. Everybody has their own experiences and the main point is that any homophobia can – and most likely will – alter the path of one’s life. Kudos to Hudson Taylor (who’s heterosexual, by the way) for bringing to light something that is all to often pushed aside or swept under the rug. If you have a minute to spare head on over to the website and show your support for gay athletes! Here’s a video of an interview he did with MSNBC:

Laterdays,

Pato

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