Unfair treatment based on someone’s sexuality – or assumptions about their sexuality – is discrimination and has no place in any sporting or recreation environment.
Many sports have now made it unacceptable to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or for spectators to vilify people with homophobic abuse at games, just as they have done for racial, gender and disability-based vilification and discrimination.
But the fact is, homophobia in sport still exists at all levels. And when homophobia is allowed to exist as standard practice in something as mainstream and everyday as sport, it marginalizes gay people and tells them ‘you don’t belong here’. There needs to be a collective effort from all to address this issue.
Play by the Rules has assembled a range of articles, videos, tools and education resources to help create awareness of gay, lesbian and bisexual issues in sport. Check out the following:
You might be interested to understand a bit more about the homophobia in sport. So, we've interviewed Caroline Symons, Associate Professor in the College of Sport & Exercise Science at Victoria University. Carolyn has done some significant research on the issue.
(1) What is homophobia?
(2) What is the sport environment like for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people?
(3) What are the experiences of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people in sport?
(4) Are there safe and inclusive sporting environments of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people in sport?
(5) What practical actions can sports administrators take to make GLBT people feel included and safe?
Peter Van Miltenburg is a former Australian sprinter who specialized in the 200 metres. Here, we ask Peter some questions to get an athletes perspective on homophobia.
(1) What challenges do lesbian, gay and bisexual people face in sport and what would help them feel safer and more included?
(2) What issues have you faced in your sporting career?
(3) Reflecting on your experiences what advice would you give gay athletes?
(4) What are the main challenges you have faced as a gay coach and how have you dealt with these?
(5) Did you feel that you needed to take any special measures to keep yourself safe in your role as a coach?
(6) What practical actions can sports administrators take to make lesbian, gay and bisexual people feel included and safe?
(7) If you are a coach and you observe homophobic attitudes or behavior what actions would you take?
(8) What advice would you give to an athlete if they are being discriminated against?
(9) What are the features of a safe welcoming and inclusive club?