Playing for Our Team

Lesbian Sports blog

December 2009

These Athletes are Family

12/31/09

These Athletes are Family

As we close out another decade, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on all of the incredible gay and lesbian athletes who have impacted the sports world with their remarkable courage and talent throughout the past few decades. This year, we have the pleasure of adding Gareth Thomas to that list. The reality is that Thomas might not have been able to come out had it not been for all of those gay and lesbian athletes who paved the way for him.  Here’s a quick rundown of some of those athletes. Their athletic achievements and strength of character deserve to be recognized:  • Bill Tilden — In 1920, Tilden won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon. He went on to win two more Wimbledon titles and seven U.S. championships. In 1950,...

Posted at 02:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

Gay Rugby Player Proves He’s Tough Enough

12/23/09

Gay Rugby Player Proves He’s Tough Enough

For all of those naysayers out there who falsely believe that gay men aren’t tough enough to play professional sports, I suggest you look up Gareth Thomas.Thomas is a perennial all-star in the world of rugby—one of the toughest and most brutal sports in the world. Oh, and did I mention the fact that Thomas is also gay?Thomas, a former Wales captain, told the UK’s Daily Mail, “I don't know if my life is going to be easier because I'm out, but if it helps someone else, if it makes one young lad pick up the phone to ChildLine (a LGBT teen suicide line), then it will have been worth it.”And that’s the whole point in a nutshell. Thomas basically summed up the formidable effect a visible gay or lesbian professional athlete can have in that single quote. Not...

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

Transexual Sportswriter Broke The Mold

12/18/09

Transexual Sportswriter Broke The Mold

I managed to unearth this story after conducting a simple search on Google related to LGBT athletes and news. My first thought was, how come we didn’t hear a thing about this on the national level?Mike Penner was a sportswriter for the L.A. Times, which is easily regarded as one of the top-selling (and top-read) newspapers in the country. Penner made waves in 2007 when he came out as a transsexual and wrote about it in a sports column for the Times. He changed his name to Christine Daniels and began living fully as a female. I remember the column distinctly. It was heartfelt and open, and revealed years of gut-wrenching insecurity and pain. All that Daniels asked was that readers didn’t treat her any differently. She wanted to remain a respected sportswriter in a...

Posted at 06:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Homophobic or Beautiful

12/11/09

Homophobic or Beautiful

That is the question that has been raised in reference to a recent women’s basketball marketing campaign by Florida State University. FSU has decided to showcase its women’s basketball team in a new light. Instead of portraying the players as tough and competitive, the campaign seeks to display them as “soft” and “beautiful.” (seminolehoops.com/teamkayli.shtml)The main point that FSU is trying to get across is that women basketball players can be both athletic and beautiful at the same time.However, some people are viewing the campaign much differently. They believe that the “glamour” shots only reinforce homophobia in women’s college basketball, because they also portray the players as being “heterosexual” as...

Posted at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Football: A Game For "Manly" Men Only

12/04/09

Football: A Game For "Manly" Men Only

I love football. I have ever since I was little. I would play tackle football with my brothers and their friends at the playground just to prove that I was as good as they were despite being a girl. I didn’t want them to see my sex; I wanted them to see my talent.  I guess that why’s I can relate, to some extent, to those football players who are still in the closet.There is this living stereotype that football is a “man’s game” and only “manly men” can play it and play it well. This is concept that is continually reinforced by football analysts, players and coaches. It’s also pounded into our brains through NFL marketing and television commercials.That’s why I have always wondered what would happen if a popular and talented...

Posted at 05:16 PM | Permalink | Comments