Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Safe spaces for LGBT athletes at Bucknell

From a great article by Dan Woog:

[Sean] Coyne had known he was "different" since Catholic grammar school (though he did not have a name for it then). At his public high school he realized "this was real." But to avoid dealing with the reality of being gay, he submerged himself in activities. Coyne took AP classes, was active in the National Honor Society, joined the Latin Club and had a part-time job.

"I kept as busy as possible so I wouldn't have to explain why I wasn't seeing someone," he explains. It was a classic - and literal - case of running away.

When he got to Bucknell, he stayed in the closet. The locker room door seemed firmly shut to gays. The team environment was crude. There were always gay "jokes," with track athletes putting each other down as "fags" or "homos."

But Coyne was not a quitter. He told himself he was better than the teammates making unsuspecting comments. He stayed, and ran.

That spring he came out to his best friend, a fellow hurdler. It was inadvertent - the teammate had seen an IM on Coyne's computer - but he felt less anxious when his friend supported him fully. Slowly, Coyne came out to more teammates. Yet, the anti-gay locker room comments continued, and he felt powerless to stop them.

As a junior, he grew more comfortable. He told two captains that their homophobic language perpetuated a negative team culture. They understood. Almost instantly, the slurs stopped.

Emboldened, Coyne joined a club associated with Bucknell's Office of LGBT Awareness. He became a speaker in the "Safe Space" peer education program, presenting LGBT issues to fraternities and sororities. But he was not part of the Greek system, so when he was offered the chance to work with the athletic department he shifted his focus.

He tailored his presentation to the athletic issues he was so familiar with. For example, he described the difficulty of cooperating on the field while feeling marginalized off it, and discussed the effect anti-gay comments have on recruits who may be gay - or have gay relatives or friends.

Some coaches supported the effort. Others dragged their feet. They were in the middle of their season, they said, or they wanted to wait until the following year, when new freshmen arrived.

The first team Coyne addressed was his own. Both the men's and women's track squads soon voted - unanimously - to make their teams "Safe Spaces."

Read in full HERE.

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