An Open Letter to Sports Fans About Homophobia

Content warning for these delicate to homophobia and subjects of psychological well being. There’s nothing flawed with being delicate about these points, and if it might be simpler for you to skip out on this text, be at liberty to.

Recently, there have been a couple of notable sports activities gamers who’ve made homophobic feedback. Namely Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He made and posted a video to social media of him filming queer males and the truth that they’re showing queer being the punchline. In the video he says, “Look at these queer ass [n-word]. What has the world come to?”

These feedback are homophobic and he rightfully received fined by the NBA for making them on Tuesday. They insinuate that the world being extra accepting of the queer group than it used to be is a foul factor. He poses the query, what has the world come to? Well, the world has come to be extra accepting of queer people. However, it nonetheless has a great distance to go.

There has been numerous silence from NBA gamers concerning the video and Ant’s feedback basically. Denver Nuggets ahead Aaron Gordon did have one thing to pitch in although, and it wasn’t fairly. He did not immediately say something, and he might not have deliberately unfold any homophobia. That was the results of his tweet although, and it was in all probability hurtful to many queer Nuggets followers. I personally am a part of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, plus) group, being each asexual and panromantic. Asexual which means somebody who experiences little to no sexual attraction, and panromantic which means I’ve romantic curiosity in anybody. Doesn’t matter if they seem to be a man, a girl, somebody in between, transgender, and so on.

I’m not accusing Aaron Gordon of being homophobic, and I hope he is not. He deleted each of the tweets he made on Tuesday and not using a clarifying assertion although, so the plain interpretation is that he does not agree with the league’s ruling on Anthony Edwards’ punishment. With that interpretation, many sports activities followers confirmed assist for each Gordon and Edwards. Saying issues like “They did nothing flawed,” or “Yeah, persons are too smooth these days. Queer folks want to shut up.”

That wasn’t everybody, nevertheless it was an alarming quantity of individuals. Many queer folks wrestle to discover areas accepting of them, and in the event that they know a few of their favourite gamers really feel that they should not be the best way they’re — it might trigger some psychological well being points. Not solely due to the gamers, however as a result of in numerous areas jokes might be made on the expense of homosexual males, lesbians are sometimes the topic of fetishization by straight males, transgender persons are usually topic to harassment due to wanting to be themselves. There are many, many examples of queer folks being harassed or in any other case negatively impacted.

According to a examine by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law launched in 2017, people who find themselves a part of the LGBTQIA+ group are 4 occasions extra probably than straight folks to expertise some type of violent victimization. I can personally attest to these outcomes too. I personally have been bullied rising up for being queer. I first tried popping out as bisexual after I was 12, however was dismissed by folks saying it was only a section I used to be going by and that I’d “prove proper” in the long run. I used to be forged out by some social circles I had been part of. I used to be advised on a number of events to kill myself. I’ve been harassed in public for sporting nail polish. I’ve been referred to as homosexual slurs.

These issues are extremely hurtful. I wrestle with my psychological well being, and a big a part of my melancholy and nervousness is the trauma that I used to be put by as an adolescent simply attempting to be myself. I’ve different queer buddies who’ve skilled worse than that — a few of my buddies have been bodily crushed for figuring out as transgender or as homosexual. It’s an unlucky actuality that I do not suppose many notice the complete scope of.

I’m not wanting to disgrace individuals who weren’t given the appropriate data rising up — I would like to assist educate whoever is prepared to hear me out. I would like to flip these current occasions into the possibility to have an open dialogue. It’s true that nobody will come to perceive each other with out having discussions, so I would like to have discussions with people who find themselves queer, or need to study extra concerning the queer group. Right now, the sports activities group is at a spot that’s disappointing, but when folks begin speaking about it and advocate for equal therapy — then there may be hope on the finish of the tunnel.

So many individuals are raised being taught that being homosexual is in opposition to a set of their non secular beliefs, or that being homosexual is one thing to be ashamed of. In actuality although, they’re simply folks such as you. They simply need to expertise love how they expertise it with out being judged and ridiculed for it. I hope they get to expertise that sometime, and that the NBA group can work in direction of being an atmosphere the place queer persons are accepted.

I would like to have conversations with you guys about these subjects, so on my Twitter I’ll have open DMs. I’ll reply to anybody who needs to discuss these subjects for any cause. I’ll do my finest to reply to feedback below this text as nicely — and in case you’re queer I encourage you to do the identical. I would like to educate and educate about our group — present that we’re simply folks searching for acceptance on the finish of the day. I do really hope that Aaron Gordon and Anthony Edwards strive to educate themselves about these communities and that that is the beginning of a significant shift within the social paradigm.

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