Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Speaking About Silence: Homophobia in the Sports World

A few days from the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Canadian organisation Fondation Émergence launched its annual campaign to fight against homophobia. Entitled “Speaking About Silence”, this campaign is geared toward the sports world and will reach its highpoint on May 17, 2010, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Recognition of LGBT and other gay issues has soared tremendously over the past few years. Legal equality has been accomplished and social equality continues to improve. Yet, some communities have missed out on this openness and have created a built-in silence. On a personal level, athletes and people involved in the sports world aren’t any more homophobic than other individuals. However, the community lays down the rules by excluding anything that does not fit a heterosexual image.

The campaign aims to speak about the sports world’s reigning silence on everything related to sexual diversity, and to call on all those involved: educational institutions, the media, professional and amateur sports organisations, sponsors, gay men and lesbians, sexual minorities, and public authorities.

All those involved in the sports world are therefore invited to take part in the campaign, to organise activities, and to distribute promotional material. Fondation Émergence President Laurent McCutcheon states that “It’s now 2010 and there are no valid reasons why the sports world should refuse to join in the fight against homophobia.”

The campaign is based on images of one winter sport and one summer sport: hockey and soccer. Posters and pamphlets are available for free and on request, plus electronic versions are available in several languages. The promotional material available from Fondation Émergence via its website here.

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