Image for We'll give gay players our full support, says AFL chief

We'll give gay players ourfull support, says AFL chief

Gay players who come out will have the AFL’s full support, says its Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou.

Speaking at the launch of Taking the Tackle – a program that aims to improve respect for women in the Australian Football League – Demetriou sought to assure AFL supporters of its inclusiveness following speculation that some players were gay but too scared to come out.

Jeff Kennett, head of mental health support organisation Beyond Blue, says that he believes as many as 1 in 20 players in the league may be gay, and that they live in fear of outing themselves due to social and media pressures.

The AFL has long come under fire, especially in recent years, including from the queer community advocates who see it as one of the last bastions of socially sanctioned homophobia, until recently offering little protection for any gay player who decides to come out.

Demetriou says the AFL leads the way in implementing anti-vilification programs that cover the spectrum of gender, race and religion, and includes an anti-homophobia program featuring out gay former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski.

According to Demetriou, AFL players had been shown a video featuring Kowalski talking about the issues surrounding his decision to come out publically as gay.

Kowalski told Nine News that there has been ‘a witch hunt’ to ‘out’ a player for a number of years, with media and public eager to expose sportspeople’s private lives.

Western Bulldog defender Bob Murphy agrees, telling The Age there’s a “sick fascination” with how many AFL players are gay.

Demetriou highlights that coming out is a personal decision and still a matter of personal choice. “But if a player wanted to make it public about his sexual preference then he would get absolutely nothing but support from the AFL, and nothing but support from everyone in the industry,” he assured.

“I’m really proud of the way that the AFL family embraces people whatever background they’ve got… I think you’re going to be very surprised by the reaction you’ll find in this particular industry and this family.”

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Lazzarus

Lazzarus said on the 15th Feb, 2012

I'd love to think gay AFL players would feel comfortable "coming out". (It's no great secret who most of them are.) It would be a plus for the game and help break down this stigma that all gay people have to be raving queens in heels and makeup.

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 15th Feb, 2012

Not that there's anything wrong with that LOL

Lazzarus

Lazzarus said on the 15th Feb, 2012



Hell no!

Some of my best friends are women ;)

Virgindirk

Virgindirk said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Its still comes down to the media and its interpretaion of what the sport is about. Tv shows like The Footy show (both NRL and AFL) still give the public an image that football is all bout being a macho, blokey, beer drinking hetrosexual who preys on women and anything that dosnt exactly fit that mold is instantly a pissweak loser that dosnt belong.

dillonpete

dillonpete said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I think we need to be careful about the fascination - one of the reasons I am sure that one of the AFL's closeted gay players has not made his sexuality public is because of the way our community latches on to the recently out and almost exploits their sexuality. Matt Mitcham, Dan Kowalski, Ian Roberts, Matt Cecchin - all cases in point. We have a lot to answer for in the almost predatory manner in which we try and set the openly gay up as beacons of our community - which is quite possible one of the things that perhaps fear most. Until we can control our enthusiasm and excitement that we have another one on the team, we might be the ones responsible for keeping them in the closet. This week we have seen the response to Magda Szubanski's coming out - and it was almost general knowledge that Magda was gay - imagine the reaction to a footy player.
Virginiadirk makes a great point around the perceived misogyny and homophobia that has been obvious among AFL and NRL footy shows and one only has to be fearful that there would be some fairly vile comments that would come from some of the clowns that are the hosts and penalises on these programs.
As much as I would be thrilled to see an AFL player feel safe and comfortable to declare his sexuality, I also fear that we as a community and media within that community may well be one of the reasons for the fear.

Lazzarus

Lazzarus said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Very true... sad but true.

Doolander

Doolander said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Well this is interesting, but I don't know if it will help bring anyone out.
I think most gay AFL players know already that they'd have the support of their club, team mates etc.
I think the worry is more about how people will perceive the sport once they know there are gay players on the field.
And even then, it's not about the fact that there are gay players on the field, but more about what people's perceptions are of that.
I mean, what player wants to feel responsible for people's backwards thinking?

JayTee

JayTee said on the 16th Feb, 2012



In what way? I know that Ian Roberts had a bit of a stalker situation happening, but have the others? Matt Mitcham seems to have been doing fairly well in terms of sponsorship, Dan Kolwaski came out so late that most people didn't even remember who he was, and Matt Checchin has been out less than a week. Have we, as the gay community, really made public coming out of sports stars unbearable for them?

I would've thought it would've been their day to day lives experiencing homophobia from people in their own work circles that would've been the main problem.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I find it absurd that Pete Dillon seems to think that the gay community is somehow to blame for people in the closet as opposed to the general homophobia in society. Anyhow, big kudos to Jeff Kennett, who has obviously been unfaily villified, and none to Robert Murphy. shucks Rob, if the AFL community is so accepting, why has no-one in AFL (unlike NRL or rugby) come out yet?

HubbaHubba

HubbaHubba said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Personally I can't wait for a MMA fighter to come out. Some of those guys are so hot!!

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 16th Feb, 2012

You'd expect homophobia from mainstream society. but it's the internalised homophobia from our own community that makes me feel sick to my stomach. Instead of supporting those that come out, our community often hurls horrible cynical accusations of 'taking too long to come out' or 'not doing enough for the community' or 'using coming out for personal gain' or 'not supporting gay causes'... the list goes on. just look at some of the comments aimed at the wonderful Magda from OUR OWN COMMUNITY! It's really sad. I don't blame people not coming out when this level of canabalisation is going on.

Asherbella

Asherbella said on the 16th Feb, 2012

A gay AFL player is no different to a gay accountant, tradie, ballerina, registered nurse or opera singer. Occupation doesn't define your sense or sensibility -although I agree highly with Lazzarus - Australia is very much a machismo sports country somewhat fixated on blokedom.
We're all diverse, no surprise there and I thank Andrew Demetriou for making this public statement. Demystify the codes of football; being gay is no more a big a deal that being left-handed or having red hair and freckles.

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I don't think it's the clubs or the AFL that are the problem - but the fans. If a player came out, and their team played against Collingwood, you could imagine the chant of "Poofta, poofta" or "Faggot" going right around the ground, just like they chanted "rapist" at Stephen Milne. And there's no way you can stop the fans doing that. That and the gay community itself (as others have pointed out) are the problem.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

But surely you too are "cannabilising" too in saying that Travis, just from a different angle? At the end of the day, you should come out for you, not for others. That's why I did it. Though granted, I'm not well known.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

But Irene (tacky avatar btw), we also have an anti villification rule in regard to racism that also applies to crowd members. I don't see why it should be any different to sexual orientation, though granted we probably have further to go in regards to sexual orientation respect compared with racism. I don't see it as the same as the Stephen Milne chants, because although unfair that relates to condemnation of a particular individual's perceived behaviour, so it is different.

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I know it's a tacky avatar, but the lady on the left is Helen Mirren, so it's all class ;)

Spooky

Spooky said on the 16th Feb, 2012

The way things are going there will be a forced gay marriage between an AFL footballer and network comedian.

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012



How would the police go about arresting 20,000 feral Collingwood fans?

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012


That's right. Sam Newman would 'send it up' by 'marrying' a bloke with hairy legs in a tutu on the Footy Show.

cubbyxface

cubbyxface said on the 16th Feb, 2012

imho it would be great for the game but bad business wise for the players

i remember reading how mathew mitcham had a hard time finding sponsors after outing himself so i kinda understand why gay sportsman don't out themselves till after they retire

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I think Irene has a problem with Collingwood but I don't recall any other club having a pink chapter. I think we miss the point and should be giving bouquets to those gay sportsmen in macho type sports who have had the courage to come out, because they realise what a valuable signal that sends to young gay kids who are told by a homophobic mainstream society that they can't play real sport.

I'm talking about the likes of Gareth Thomas in rugby, also the English cricketer who came out last year Sean Davies, Daniel Kowalski in swimming, Matthew Mitcham (I think a lot of the diving guys are probably gay anyhow), and now Matt Cecchin the NRL referee, the American basketballer. I get a bit tired of the gay 'community' being sceptical about these individuals brave efforts.

Just because we think the sporting crowd will be hostile, doesn't mean we should all give up and just accept a homophobic status quo, which is the message I'm getting from some on this board. It takes brave people to effect progress, and that's why progress has been had in confronting racism.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Having said that, maybe I'm just plain wrong. And it's all the fault of gay people that there is homophobia in sport and they don't feel comfortable in coming out. Oh at last, I see it all clearly now. It all makes sense.

I'll withdraw and apologise as I hadn't realised I'd wandered onto a Margaret Court forum where apparently gays all get what they deserve. Maybe we all need to repent now and change our ways....

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I think Irene has a problem with Collingwood but I don't recall any other club having a pink chapter. I think we miss the point and should be giving bouquets to those gay sportsmen in macho type sports who have had the courage to come out, because they realise what a valuable signal that sends to young gay kids who are told by a homophobic mainstream society that they can't play real sport.

I'm talking about the likes of Gareth Thomas in rugby, also the English cricketer who came out last year Sean Davies, Daniel Kowalski in swimming, Matthew Mitcham (I think a lot of the diving guys are probably gay anyhow), and now Matt Cecchin the NRL referee, the American basketballer. I get a bit tired of the gay 'community' being sceptical about these individuals brave efforts.

Just because we think the sporting crowd will be hostile, doesn't mean we should all give up and just accept a homophobic status quo, which is the message I'm getting from some on this board. It takes brave people to effect progress, and that's why progress has been had in confronting racism.

Having said that, maybe I'm just plain wrong. And it's all the fault of gay people that there is homophobia in sport and they don't feel comfortable in coming out. Oh at last, I see it all clearly now. It all makes sense.

I'll withdraw and apologise as I hadn't realised I'd wandered onto a Margaret Court forum where apparently gays all get what they deserve. Maybe we all need to repent now and change our ways....

Goldberry get over yourself. No one here is homophobic or are they accepting the status quo. They are merely raising valid points. Also your remark about how you think most guys in diving are gay is a stigma straight men in that sport face often, it's ridiculous and is offensive as homophobia.

Also we shouldn't be giving them bouquets, we should be giving them a beer and a slap on the back. They are probably in the closet because they don't want to be known or relate to the pansy brigade. :rolleyes:

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

All I'm going to say is that I believe it's time for more sports men to come out and at the peak of their career and not when they are retiring. It will shatter more gay stereotypes and breakdown a lot of barriers. Not everyone wants to live a rainbow life, a lot of gay guys LOVE their blokey life!

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

So how is your remark about effeminate gay men as the 'pansy brigade' not homophobic in itself. Ah, internalised homophobia, don't you love it?

By the way I'm a fairly blokey lawyer, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Ok, my stereotype about male divers may have been just that. I hope they didn't mind being inferred as gay, how offensive. I was just thinking of the GREAT Greg Louganis. Ah, I still recall that movie about that with Mario Lopez....

So it may have been offensive but won't stop me or a number of people with similar stereotypes thinking it, my bad.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012



I do love it because I wrote it intentionally to flame you and you reacted! LOL! :D



You're a fairly or fairy blokey lawyer? Either way I like lawyers. Yet in comparison to all the lawyers I know , including gay/queer ones, you seem to use emotive instead of logic in your arguments.

Anyway enjoy Pansy Divison and their ode to great gay sportsmanship! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gew0hERB2Lo

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

The logic problem is yours. From a distance you've equated me with some kind of pansy division when you know nothing about me. It seems to me you unfairly stigmatise effeminate gay men. This is offensive to my partner, as every long term partner I've had has been more shall we say 'effeminate' than me.

And incidentally, why is it a stigma to assume a straight man in diving is gay? I don't think you'll be able to explain your own 'logic' through your own hypocrisy. Why should it matter whether he is gay or straight if in fact we live in the modern world where such anti gay stigmas shouldn't exist?

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Ok, my stereotype about male divers may have been just that. I hope they didn't mind being inferred as gay, how offensive. I was just thinking of the GREAT Greg Louganis. Ah, I still recall that movie about that with Mario Lopez....

So it may have been offensive but won't stop me or a number of people with similar stereotypes thinking it, my bad.

I still remember Greg Louganis hitting his head at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and to this day my mother think he's GREAT and I read his book 'Breaking the Surface' when it was first published and it's a great read.

Yet you having a stereotype about the majority of divers being gay is as bad as making the assumption that all footballers are straight. :rolleyes:

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Ok, so it was bollocks that assumption about the male divers. At least I think it is. Either way it's a generalisation that probably shouldn't be made. But only because it's too broad brush, not because I was applying any "stigma".

And to be honest, although there may be one or two gay AFL players, I doubt there would be that many. Most gay men I know don't even like sport.....so yeah it probably is a bullshit topic at the end of the day. I just think everyone should be honest about who they are, as Harvey Milk once said, footballer or not.

Barrin

Barrin said on the 16th Feb, 2012



Are you from Melbourne? A lot of people have a problem with Collingwood. And it's a badge of pride! :)

These two announcements in quick sucession from Jeff Kennet and Andrew Demitriou might mean they're paving the way for a coming out.

When I was still living in Melbourne (over 15 years ago) there was talk of a player who moved north (I took that to mean Sydney Swans or Brisbane Lions) who was HIV+. I went to school with one of the early Swans players and had my suspicions but nothing ever came of it.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

No I'm not from Melbourne. I just live here. I follow rugby. That's union, not the other stuff.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012



HAHAHA Pansy Divison rock and no it wasn't a dedication to you, I thought a musical interlude of a great queer punk band performing an ode to sport, was in order to lighten the mood! :D

As for stigmatising effeminate gay men, you are WAY off the mark in that regard and for a person who's delicacy has been offended by me apparently making an assumption about you from a distance (great Midler song) you shouldn't do the same. :cool:

Also your partner needs to speak for himself, if he is offended by my remark then he should post his feelings on this thread. You shouldn't be speaking on his behalf. There is nothing worse than co-dependent people who can't think or speak for themselves and most of the effeminate guys I've know can stand on their own feet and tell you where to shove it without the need of 'support'. It's the psychologically weak, not effeminate, who need an emotional and social crutch to cling to.



I see labelling anything as a gay or straight activity a stigma nowadays, even drag, considering there are straight guys (SHOCK :eek:) who perform it. It's the individuals who are either GLBTIQ etc... not the sport or activity.

I think your belief that divers are gay is primarily due to your sexual objectification of them and not seeing them as sports persons. Shame on you! :eek:

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012

90% of Victorians have a problem with Collingwood! LOL

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Ok, so it was bollocks that assumption about the male divers. At least I think it is. Either way it's a generalisation that probably shouldn't be made. But only because it's too broad brush, not because I was applying any "stigma".

And to be honest, although there may be one or two gay AFL players, I doubt there would be that many. Most gay men I know don't even like sport.....so yeah it probably is a bullshit topic at the end of the day. I just think everyone should be honest about who they are, as Harvey Milk once said, footballer or not.

*Cough* *Cough* Oh really. Not from my experience. I've know a lot of gay and lesbians who LOVE sport and want to be included.


http://www.thisisoz.com.au/storage/DSC_0447-1-11.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1250062632648

http://www.starobserver.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/web-Bentstix-Members.jpg

http://ic.s.tsatic-cdn.net/324/640_360/e4e68_324961.jpg

http://www.starobserver.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/web_stingers.jpg

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

So by your logic every gay sportsman who has come out in the last 5 years has stigamtised themselves by coming out as gay? That what you mean?

Believe me, I wasn't offended, nor would my partner have been. I was just pouring cold water on your arguments

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Are you from Melbourne? A lot of people have a problem with Collingwood. And it's a badge of pride! :)

These two announcements in quick sucession from Jeff Kennet and Andrew Demitriou might mean they're paving the way for a coming out.

When I was still living in Melbourne (over 15 years ago) there was talk of a player who moved north (I took that to mean Sydney Swans or Brisbane Lions) who was HIV+. I went to school with one of the early Swans players and had my suspicions but nothing ever came of it.

I'm thinking the same thing, I wouldn't be surprised if it happens around Mardi Gras to be honest.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012

So by your logic every gay sportsman who has come out in the last 5 years has stigamtised themselves by coming out as gay? That what you mean?

Believe me, I wasn't offended, nor would my partner have been. I was just pouring cold water on your arguments

You're just rambling on and making no sense. Time for bed! :cool:

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

But seriously, I think in your earlier posts you did show a contempt to more feminine guys, and now you're tring to deny it....

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 16th Feb, 2012



I only have contempt towards 6ft average blokey Aussie guys with small dicks who knock me back. :cool:

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

ha ha, I've never been single in Australia so haven't had to worry about single Aussies..! And doing the single thing in Australia.

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 16th Feb, 2012

When the heterosexual public in my opinion have a%u201Csick fascination%u201D with how many AFL players are gay that can actually be a good thing, because it will force or highly encourage a player to come out. Somebody has to make the first move.

Irene

Irene said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Why should anyone "come out"? I don't see straights making a big deal about being straight. So why should gays make a big deal about being gay? You are what you are. People have to accept that. I just fail to see why it concerns anyone other than yourself. So why make a big deal of it?

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Irene, I know what you mean. I'm well and truly tired of the hoo hah with Magda Szubanski about how brave she is to come out. Oh really? Since when did an actress being a lesbian connote any prejudice of any consequence?

On the other hand it would take a great deal of courage probably for an AFL footballer to come out. And by the way, your comparison with the straight community is not really relevant. Gay people are in a much different position to straights in society still unfortunately, so it is a bit of a false comparison. Straight people are not hounded and attacked in the media by public figures occasionally, like happened with Margaret Court just last month.

Straights aren't in fear of bashing for the sexuality either. That's why we still have things like gay pride marches and Mardi Gras. Sorry, Irene, but we ain't living in a perfect world.

And by the way, have you come out yet, and if so why? Maybe closeted people need to come out for the same reason you did.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 16th Feb, 2012

I just find arguments like the one Irene employed a few posts back, being a bit confused. Coming out is a personal act you do for your own peace of mind, not because you are making a 'big deal' out of anything. People should never be criticised for 'coming out' on this basis. Really this is the same tired crap we hear from homophobes or anti gay conservatives every week: "oh you guys, why do you have to make such a big deal of your sexuality, straight people don't."

er, maybe it's because we've had to fight, scrap, demand and stand up for the right to be ourselves, something the straight society takes for granted. And even then we have to endure the occasional Margaret Court using a major newspaper to spread vile and baseless slander about us.

If everyone should accept you for who you are (I certainly do agree with that part), then why should you choose or feel compelled to choose to stay in the closet? Let's face it, sexuality is not the only part of someone but it plays a big part of their life. When I used to work in a large firm I used to hear straights talking about aspects of their straight relationships, marriages, straight identity every other sentence. And yet gay people are expected to remain coy, otherwise they are making a big deal out of it? That's just bollocks.

sneakos

sneakos said on the 17th Feb, 2012



i dont have a small dick btw

#justsayin :)

Irene

Irene said on the 17th Feb, 2012

Goldberry, You misinterpreted me. This whole thing about 'coming out' being a rite of passage. All the school age kids on this forum who stress over their 'coming out'. To them I say, why the need to come out, especially if it's going to cause you issues at school? Just be yourself. Let other people worry about it. You are only in the closet if you choose to put yourself in the closet to start with. If you don't put yourself in the closet, how can you come out of it?

Then we demand/expect AFL players to 'come out' which implies they were in a closet to begin with. The fact that we want them to 'come out' and announce that they are one of us. WTF! What does it matter? I don't care if they're out of the closet, in the closet, or never been near a bloody closet. I understand the historical need to 'come out' - but that was always more of a political statement, which I think at least in the west, is becoming more redundant. I want to see the day when it is totally redundant - the day when no one has to announce their sexuality to anyone. And we're well on the way to that (well a lot further than we were 30 years ago). Post-modernist maybe, but I just don't get it.

Tommy Praxis

Tommy Praxis said on the 17th Feb, 2012

Gotta agree with Dillonpete and Travis de Jonk here. I think there's definitely a prevalent sense in our community that all queer celebrities should just come out and they should do it yesterday. And because we're such a loving and caring bunch, we'll support our new-found brothers and sisters throughout the whole ordeal, and anyway they probably don't even need much support because they're famous and therefore don't have to worry about family rejection or financial uncertainty or any of the things the rest of us have to deal with. Not everyone thinks like that, of course, but the sentiment is still there, and it isn't particularly helpful.

Honestly, no matter how much the AFL as an organization tries to support players, and prevent things like homophobic taunts at matches, the first openly gay active player is going to have a pretty tough time. For one, they'll have to deal with allegations that they're putting their own wish to publicly declare their sexuality ahead of the interests of their club. Unfortunately, Jason Akermanis was right when he said that having an out player will damage the fabric of the club. Even if the other players are okay with having an out teammate, fans and supporters of the club are going to cop all kinds of shit at work, at the pub etc. for supporting the "gay team". Will that hurt membership numbers? Maybe not, but it's definitely something that the club will be worried about. And even die-hard supporters who would never consider leaving are not necessarily going to be to pleased with the situation, either. All in all, expect the first out player to receive a heap of criticism about their selfishness and lack of team spirit. When that criticism comes from the usual suspects, it's not such a big deal. But when it comes from your own club and supporters, it's likely to hurt.

If it's someone young and/or not well established as a player, there's also likely to be a perception out there in some parts of the football world that they're seeking a level of attention that they haven't earned. That might not sound like too much, but within the culture of team sports, the suggestion that someone is a preening show-pony rather than a serious sportsperson is one that can really sting, and is probably one of the factors that heavily contributes to lesser-known and less accomplished players staying in the closet.

In addition, the first out player is going to come under a huge deal of pressure to fill a particular role as a gay icon, leader, and spokesperson. Maybe they'll excel in that role, but maybe they won't be particularly suited to it. Being able to play football doesn't automatically make you articulate or media-savvy or good at living in the public eye, as any number of straight players have demonstrated.

And honestly, honestly, do we actually believe that the LGBTIQ community is uniformly supportive of out celebrities? Check out any gay-themed web forum, this one included, and take a look at the comments. Between the shallow queens who see it as their duty on this earth to judge everyone by their appearance, the self-styled cynics who proclaim that said celeb is just cashing in on their queer cred, and the armchair critics who need to inform the rest of us that the person in question is just not that talented anyway, you'd be forgiven for thinking that our support is a highly conditional, fair-weather phenomenon.

Anyways, all of this is why I think it's probably more likely that the first out players will be guys who've already retired from the game (or are nearing retirement), and who are old enough and secure enough to not give a shit about what people might say about them. But I could be wrong.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 17th Feb, 2012

Well, Irene, I wish I had as optimistic view as you. I can see where you're coming from, but just don't share the optimism. If it was becoming redundant as you seem to imply, why is that gay men are still laden with these stereotypes, and there are so few 'out' gay sportsmen? We're still a ways away from the utopia you seem to describe or think we're approaching.

It's easy for us who live in inner suburbs and have lattes in Chapel St to think (wrongly) that middle Australia is an accepting place. It just isn't.

I hear a lot about how the younger generation is more accepting, yet we also hear in the gay press how gay students are school are copping more flak than ever about their sexuality. I dunno, I'm not convinced.

Goldberry

Goldberry said on the 17th Feb, 2012

Probably the most pessimistic view I've yet seen on this forum is that of Tommy Praxis, who seems to think that gay sportmen should stay in the closet lest they be seen as a show pony damaging the fabric of the club. How is this any different than what Akermanis was peddling last week?

You're right, the gay 'community' is not that supportive. And it's cynics like Tommy who are probably the worst offendors. Follow his prescricption and nothing will ever change.

Honestly, some of the gays on message boards really make me want to puke. YOu can go on living your lives bowing and scraping and apologising for your own identity, and making excuses for homophobes like Jason Akermanis if you like, but please don't tar me with your own inernalised homopbobia while you're at it.

Rant over.