1 min

Gay athletes speak at forum on homophobia in sport

Panellists address prevalence of anti-gay slurs and importance of role models

BC Lions' wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi moderated the Invisible Athletes panel.

BC Lions wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi moderated an Invisible Athletes forum featuring gay athletes Angela Hucles, Scott Heggart and Jordan Goldwarg, who spoke about the challenges of self-acceptance, coming out and homophobia in sport.

The March 28 event was a joint initiative of the Burnaby Teachers’ Association (BTA), the Burnaby Board of Education, GForce Sports and the You Can Play campaign, which challenges professional sports organizations to support and welcome gay athletes.

Iannuzzi said he hopes his involvement as a straight ally will help raise awareness about homophobia and galvanize others to stand up against it.

In the leadup to the panel, which was held at the Michael J Fox Theatre, the BTA’s Frank Bonvino told Xtra that the participation of Vancouver Canucks player Manny Malhotra in last year’s Vancouver Pride parade was the inspiration for the forum.

“If you get a pro athlete to become involved with something like this,” he says,” it really brings the issue to the forefront.

Xtra chatted with the athletes on the panel and captured the discussion inside the Michael J Fox Theatre.

Daniel Z Berish videographer.