Anti-gay and anti-transgender attitudes are powerful undercurrents within the world of sports. These fears can create hostile environments and serve to keep athletes and coaches isolated and invisible.
GLAD, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, is a New England-based legal rights organization that is committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. GLAD’s newest project hopes to address the current homophobia and transphobia in sports, by documenting the ways in which anti-gay and anti-transgender attitudes define the sports culture.
To gather information, GLAD is conducting a survey to determine the climate that surrounds LGBT athletes, coaches and allies. From the survey website, “Homophobia and Transphobia in Sports”:
To determine how we can best address homophobia and transphobia in sports, GLAD is researching the ways in which anti-gay and anti-transgender attitudes affect LGBT athletes and coaches. Our first step is collecting the stories of LGBT athletes, coaches and allies who can shed light on the challenges and barriers homophobia and transphobia present. We’re also interested in your success stories and positive experiences.
We here at GLAAD (with two ‘A’s) encourage athletes and ex-athletes, as well as coaches and allies, to participate in GLAD’s (with one ‘A’) survey. Also, please alert teammates, coaches and friends and encourage them to participate in this important project by posting the survey information on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.
With your help and the information gathered from this survey we can begin to dismantle the current homophobic and transphobic sports culture to create a more open and accepting environment for LGBT athletes, coaches and allies. This survey will help us tell more stories of LGBT athletes, coaches and allies in the media. I am excited to be working with GLAD, the NCLR, and It Takes a Team on this project.