Toronto Diary
1 min

Is homophobia keeping gay students out of sports?

Is it wrong to think that gay men are probably more adept at sports than straight men? We spend far more time in the gym, we’re more agile, and, as anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of anal will tell you, we’re certainly a fair amount tougher.

And yet for some reason, the world of sports is primarily straight-and-narrow. Why is that? According to a study by the National Union of Students, it seems that there’s an underlying cycle exacerbating things: homophobia keeps gay students out of extracurricular sports, which feeds the anti-gay sentiments in the establishment, which feeds the homophobia, and so on and so forth.

The National Union of Students’ (NUS) Out in Sport report revealed only a third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) students at college or university participate in organised team sport, with 37.8% of those saying they are not open about their sexuality with their teammates.

The statistics concerning those who do not participate in sports are more concerning however. Nearly half (46.8%) of LGBT students who do not take part find the culture alienating or unwelcoming, while 41.9% had a negative experience at school which made them avoid sports at college or university.

"In the winter, PE was compulsory and you had to play rugby and football. You have guys in there that are proper homophobic, they just like terrorise you and make you not want to go to PE. I used to never turn up to PE in winter. They can be really harsh sometimes and really horrible. They can say really horrible things to you.” – Workshop participant, man in further education (sexual orientation not given) [Source]

Thankfully, there are organizations like You Can Play out there to help out gay kids who want to get active in sports, but I think the more effective thing to do would be to teach kids not to be total dickheads. It’s easy! Here’s the lesson plan: DON’T BE DICKS TO EACH OTHER. Repeat until it sticks. 

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