On May 21st, many events were held across Canada to bring awareness to Homophobia. In particular, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke spoke at the launch of Canada’s largest advocacy organization for the LGBT community (Egale). The site, mygsa.ca is the first in the nation dedicated to helping LGBT youth, their parents, family members and educators.
For Brian Burke, the issue of homophobia hits close to home. Earlier this year Brian’s son (who is gay) was killed in a car accident. His son had recently come into the spotlight when he began talking openly about the challenges of playing sports while being gay. We live in a world where we are not only expected to follow certain gender roles but where we are punished for straying from that path.
"We need to get to a point where bullying is eradicated, not punished, not a situation where tools are put in to deal with it — but to where it doesn't happen," Burke said in Toronto at an event held on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2010/05/17/burke-bullying-schools564.html#ixzz0oaWAEqaG
Many young people are teased, bullied, harrassed and physically injured because of their sexual identity, and the harassment gets worse if you are an openly gay male in the sports world.. For some reason I will never understand. This year’s theme is Reducing Homophopia in the sports world – something that we desperately need not only to ensure every persons safety but also to ensure that youth(and adults) aren’t avoiding joining sports teams because of the threat of harm. To be an athletic gay male, it is difficult to either give up your passion (sport) to ensure your safety or take the risk knowing you are a target for discrimination - young people should not be forced to make this choice.
I would say that this is the same for women, only somehow backwards. Women who enjoy sports and athletics are often labelled ‘lesbian’ because apparently straight girls don’t play sports? And women who are lesbians in the sports world are discriminated against for 'breaking gender rules' - and are often accused of taking illegal substances to enhance their performance (because come on girls can't really play sports) or are seen as a 'threat' to male athletes.
Regardless, think about it. Think about how peoples lives are affected either by direct harm or by the threat of harm. And check out these websites:
International Day Against Homophobia
CBC – Brian Burke Article
My Gay-Straight Alliance Page