Sexuality is a very individual thing. Although most people are ‘straight’ (heterosexual), a significant percentage of the population are gay, bisexual, celibate or asexual. Unfair treatment on the basis of someone’s sexuality – or assumptions about their sexuality – is discrimination and has no place in the sport’s environment.
Information to help you understand the issue
Click here to go to the Sexuality Discrimination Interactive Scenario.
- People often feel very strongly about sexuality, particularly homosexuality, because of their background, values, beliefs and fears.
- Assumptions about a person’s sexuality can be based on stereotypes, ignorance and little or no personal association.
- Myths about homosexuality – particularly homosexual coaches ‘converting’ young players, or players ‘catching’ AIDS from gay men – have no basis in fact.
- Discrimination against someone on the basis of their sexuality can cause immeasurable damage to their health, self esteem, personal life and work/sport performance.
- Sexuality discrimination can take many forms ranging from put downs, verbal abuse, demeaning comments and jokes, threats, damage to personal property, undermining, ostracism and exclusion.
- Sexuality discrimination that is not addressed creates an environment of fear, hostility and embarrassment.
Although it is unlawful in most states and territories to discriminate against a person on the basis of their sexuality, there are some variations between states. Where discrimination is against the law, it can result in legal claims against the individuals and clubs that allow it to happen.