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This would potentially offer a deep sense of relief for some players who haven’t shown their true selves in their own community. To dilute those into a sentence: my various identities have placed me into the easiest and most advantageous role in society. As a man: I don’t feel like my body is being examined when I am in public.
Additionally, we could offer a model for other sports to follow in this regard. I don’t question whether people will judge my abilities based on my gender.
Use language that is inclusive, as opposed to normative. Speak up and call out when heteronormative discussions or themes are present. Existing as a straight man in a heteronormative community means we automatically feel comfortable with the status quo. Now, every one of these status quo conversations puts you in an awkward place.
Breaking away from a heteronormative sports culture doesn’t require institutional or organizational change, and shouldn’t fall on individual players who don’t yet feel safe enough to fully reveal their true self.
It should fall on those of us who are lucky enough to fall into the privileged group that actually identifies the way our culture tells us we “should.” Men’s players should check their assumptions, words and actions when it comes to the identity and sexuality of their teammates.
We should have sensitivity towards what another’s experience might be during a heteronormative conversation, or when they feel underlying heterosexual assumptions on their team.
I wrote “our” interest in women, as if all men are interested in women.
Before heading to the party, the single guys on the team get a good pep talk about what ladies might be out there for them. Heteronormativity: The assumption that heterosexuality is universal and can be applied to all.
Coming off a year where sci-fi and fantasy TV took multiple knocks for employing negative LGBT stereotypes and killing off LGBT characters (see: the "bury your gays" trope), and already the new TV season is feeling like a huge step forward.
In each case, I learned of their identity long after the fact.
I believe the men’s division does not create a welcoming culture for gay athletes, and that male players have an opportunity to change this. The word privilege deserves italics because it is a giant concept that deserves many pages of attention.
Our dialogues span all realms of life–real and imagined–from intellectualism to pro sports to dungeons-and-dragons. These discussions also span a wide range: from our wives and girlfriends, to the hottest character in , to the upcoming tournament party.
My teammates and the surrounding community keep me coming back, season after season. There is no better context to talk, joke, goof, and generally “man-out” than on Ironside.