Sexual Diversity LGBT Sports News and Information
Latest news and information regarding LGBT sports including event venues and coming sport attractions.
While, overall the trend is towards open acceptance, different sports vary widely and homosexual athletes still face many challenges. International sports organisations have come under scrutiny for holding competitions in countries where LGBT equality is out of step with their own policies.
LGBT sports people have faced intolerance common in many vocations and arguably worse than some due to the heteronormativity of sports teaching in schools. Coaches sometimes require LGBT athletes to keep their identities hidden or try to encourage the athlete to change their sexual orientation. In extreme cases, LGBT people in athletics are physically threatened; or their property is vandalized. Some coaches or schools have policies that prohibit lesbians and gays from their teams, or they do not give lesbians and gays fair treatment in playing time or coaching attention. Some college coaches play on the fears of high school recruits and their parents by spreading rumors about lesbians or gay men at other schools.
There have been several notable outspoken homosexual athletes, including Sheryl Swoopes, Billie Jean King and Billy Bean. In the 1980s Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, hosted the first Gay Games in San Francisco. Since then many homosexual sporting organizations have been founded along with sporting events that feature homosexual athletes.
U.S. LGBT Sporting Associations Include:
- The Big Apple Softball League (BASL) - An LGBT softball league located in the New York City area. The league is open to all skill levels and abilities, and to all people regardless of race, religion, age, race, religion, gender expression or sexual orientation.
- The Knickerbocker Sailing Association (KSA) - Founded in 1994 is a members club set up by and for gay and lesbian sailors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. KSA membership is open to all LGBT and straight people who support each other and love to get out on the water.
- Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation or GLAF - A non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States. Its purpose is to increase acceptance and visibility of LGBT athletes in the professional, amateur, and recreational athletics communities.
- National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame - A hall of fame established in 2013 to honor LGBT and allied personalities and organizations "whose achievements and efforts have enhanced sports and athletics for the gay and lesbian community". It was established shortly after NBA player Jason Collins became the first male sports player in any of the major North American leagues to come out as gay while simultaneously remaining a team member. It is located on the grounds of Center on Halsted in Chicago, Illinois.
- Outsports - A California-based media company whose largest holding is Outsports.com. The company was founded in 1999 by Cyd Zeigler, Jr. and Jim Buzinski. The Web site has served as a media watchdog, sports-entertainment provider and community builder since its founding.
- Nashville Grizzlies RFC (Rugby Football Club) - A men's rugby union football club in Nashville, Tennessee. The club was formed in 2006 to bring the sport to typically under-represented populations (specifically gay men) although it welcomes anyone interested in the sport. The club is made up of approximately 90 members (as of March, 2011) consisting of both active players, as well as non-playing Auxiliary members.
- Team New York Aquatics (also referred to as TNYA) - A Masters level swim, water polo and diving team based in New York City to foster aquatic sports amongst gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender athletes and their heterosexual allies. TNYA has a membership of over 500 swimmers, divers, and water polo players. TNYA is recognized as the largest Masters level swim team in New York City and the largest LGBT swim team in the world.
- New York City Gay Hockey Association (NYCGHA) - An LGBT sports league based in New York City. Jeff Kagan and Jeff Minck founded the NYCGHA in 1999, after playing on the same team without either realizing the other was gay. Kagan decided to organize the league after playing with the Toronto Gay Hockey Association, just as an NYCGHA player founded a similar league in Madison, Wisconsin.n The similar organization in Chicago cites the NYCGHA as its inspiration.
- New York Ramblers - Founded in 1980 when an ad was placed in the Village Voice looking for gay men interested in playing soccer in an area of Central Park, known as the Rambles. This was the birth of the New York Ramblers, the very first organized openly gay soccer club. The Ramblers provided a space for gay men, who enjoyed the sport, to meet and socialize outside of the traditional settings of bars and clubs.
- National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA) - An LGBTQ sports organization which exists to promote LGBTQ athletic participation in basketball. The NGBA is an international, inclusive, integrated, gay, lesbian, Transgendered, Bisexual and gay-friendly association that unites athletes and cultures through basketball.
- San Francisco Track and Field Club - A California non-profit, public benefit corporation established in January, 2007. Since 2007, San Francisco Track and Field Club (SFT&FC) has maintained its United States Track & Field (USATF) club membership and hosts the USATF-sanctioned Pride Track & Field Meet annually. SFT&FC's goal is to dignify and promote gay and lesbian athletes.
- Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah - A group of weapons advocates and owners in Utah. It supports the Pink Pistols idea that was described nationally in 2000 by writer Jonathan Rauch for the legal, responsible and safe use of weapons for their self defense, recreation and weapon-sports competition. Hundreds of supporters including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender (LGBT) have joined the group since 2002 when it was founded by Utah gay activist David Nelson.
- You Can Play - A social activism campaign dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in sports, centered on the slogan, "If you can play, you can play." The campaign was launched on March 4, 2012, by its three co-founders: Patrick Burke (a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and son of former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke), Brian Kitts, and Glenn Witman (both of GForce Sports). The campaign was precipitated by the death of Brendan Burke, son of Brian and brother of Patrick. You Can Play is an official partner of the National Hockey League.
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