BURNABY—Chances are, more than one player on the teams still battling it out for the Stanley Cup this month is gay. But we’ll never hear about it, and those players will never come out of the closet, because the world of professional sports–especially the National Hockey League–is one of the last bastions of homophobia in our society.
On Monday (May 17), the theme of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia is “Speaking About Silence: Homophobia in the Sports World.” The purpose of the campaign is to make athletes, those closely or loosely involved in this community, the media, and the general population more aware of the need to combat homophobia linked to both amateur and professional sports.
The campaign aims to speak about the world’s reigning silence on everything related to sexual diversity in sport. It calls on all those involved—educational institutions, the media, professional and amateur sports organizations, sponsors, the LGBT community, and public authorities—to confront the issue.
“Young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans need role models to gain confidence and live their lives with high self-esteem for who they are,” says CUPE BC Pink Triangle working group chair Cindy McQueen.
“Such role models exist in all levels of society, but until we end the silence about homophobia in the sporting world, those role models will remain invisible.”
The Pink Triangle working group is comprised of McQueen, Kathy McMahon, Kevin Robichaud, and Alison Longacre.
For more information about the international day against homophobia, visit www.homophobiaday.org.