In the News

LGBTQ Youth Athletes Should ‘Play Proud’
June 12, 2018 - Whether you call it soccer, football, or “the beautiful game,” it’s a global phenomenon. Play Proud is a vital new initiative from Streetfootballworld USA designed to protect some of soccer’s most vulnerable players, and June is Pride Month.

The question of gender in sport: Are you woman enough?
Are you woman enough? This is the question that has been repeatedly asked of Caster Semenya ever since, in 2009, at the age of 18, she blew away the competition to win gold at the World Championships in Berlin. Semenya was born and raised a woman but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) dictate their own set of criteria for who is female enough for their women’s competitions. So Semenya faced a choice: undergo medically unnecessary hormone treatment, or give up the career she loves. It is an ultimatum that no other woman, in any walk of life, would face.

2018 IDAHO BLOG - Leading the Way: Working with LGBTQI2S Athletes and Coaches.
by Jennifer Birch-Jones, CAAWS Program Lead for LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is held annually on May 17th to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. This year’s global theme is “Alliances for Solidarity” which is appropriate for our work in Canada to make sport more welcoming for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning, intersex and two spirited (LGBTQI2S).

New testosterone rules for athletes discriminatory, Ottawa group says
New rules that would prevent female athletes with high natural testosterone levels from running middle-distance races for women are discriminatory, says an Ottawa-based sports and ethics organization.

Opposition to IAAF Classification Regulations
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the CAAWS are speaking out against the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) new Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification that pertains to athletes with differences of sex development.

Pride House Founder to Receive IGLTA’s Pioneer Award
“We are excited to celebrate Dean Nelson, who developed a way to champion diversity through major international sports events such as the Olympic Games, an event that touches lives around the world.” said Juan Julià, IGLTA Board Chair.

Softball coach calls out league policy on transgender players, sparks national response
An Edmonton softball coach who raised red flags about his amateur league's approach to transgender players has prompted policy reviews at the sport's highest levels in Canada.

Jury slams Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth with $3.74 million judgment for firing lesbian coach
March 16, 2018 - Miller sued the school after she was fired following a very successful 16 years there. Miller, along with her wife and then-fired UMD softball coach Jen Banford, claimed the firing was the result of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and age. The Federal jury agreed.

Gay at the Games: How Canada is hosting Pride House, a safe space for LGBT athletes at the Olympics
There are 13 out and proud LGBT athletes at the Winter Olympics, out of more than 3,000 competitors. While that number may seem low, it's almost double the number who were out at Sochi — seven. "I promise, for every athlete that's out, there's at least one or two that aren't," said Mark Tewksbury, a Canadian swimmer who won Olympic gold in 1992, and later came out as gay.

Canada Olympic House will be a home to Pride House
COC is proud to announce that for the first time ever, Pride House will be directly affiliated and hosted by a National Olympic Committee. Canada Olympic House (COH) will be a home to Pride House during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. This represents a unique partnership between the COC and Pride House International (PHI) to celebrate, on a more meaningful scale than ever before, our shared values of inclusion, diversity, and respect.

CWHL's first transgender woman finds comfort, confidence in professional hockey
Jessica Platt learned to skate in a backyard ice rink her family built in a neighbor's yard. Today, she plays for the Toronto Furies, a Canadian Women's Hockey League team. "I'm hoping I can help other trans people and trans athletes know that they can achieve their dreams," Platt said. "Even if one person is inspired or helped, then I feel like I succeeded at something."

This Edmonton-based gym for LGBTQ people is the first of its kind in Canada
Kyle Fairall, who runs Queerflex, was nominated for a human rights award for their work with the gym

You Can Play awarded 2017 IOC Trophy for Sport Beyond Borders
Dec 2017 - The Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) Awards and Recognition Committee presented the 2017 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Trophy for Sport Beyond Borders to You Can Play.

Minor hockey coaches, trainers get mandatory training on being trans-inclusive
Dec 2017 - Ontario hockey coaches, trainers and managers have been instructed to take training programs in support of transgender players.

An open discussion about sport and homophobia (video)
September 29, 2017 - Scott Russell, host of Road to the Olympic Games, leads the conversation with author and Olympian Marnie McBean, vice-president of development & operations at You Can Play Jillian Svensson, and Paulo Senra, the CFL's director of communications.

Kristen Worley’s continuing battle for dignity in sports (Video)
July 18, 2017 - Testosterone alone is an insufficient marker to distinguish men from women says elite Canadian transgender cyclist

Cycling Canada, OCA, the UCI, and Canadian Athlete Kristen Worley Settle Human Rights Application to Promote Inclusive Sporting Environments
July 18, 2017 - “Today, I am satisfied that the sport of cycling in Canada and internationally have committed to help advocate for issues facing XY female athletes,” said Worley. “My vision encourages sport and the Olympic Movement to do what it is supposed to do best: harmonizing and celebrating through sport the magic and enormity of our human diversity.”

Historic support from Canadian sports teams, players for Pride
June 24, 2017 - An historic number of athletes, coaches, management and staff from Toronto sports teams and organizations will be attending this year's Pride Parade in Toronto. More than 120 people representing the NHL, CFL, Canada Basketball, Canadian Olympic Committee and You Can Play are joining forces to continue their march towards making sport a more inclusive space.

An open letter from Martina Navratilova to Margaret Court Arena
Sporting venues named for athletes, or any place, really, named for whoever, are so named for one reason. That reason is their whole body of work. In other words, it is not just for what this person did on the field, on the court, in politics, arts or science, for instance, but also for who they are as human beings.

CAAWS Leading the Way Webinar – LGBTQI2S Inclusion for Your Sport Organization
January 13, 2017
Thanks for joining the webinar! Missed it? Check out the replay!

Edmonton's LGBTQ rainbow hockey tape goes international
Dec. 2016 - Pride Tape 'a phenomenal made-in-Edmonton success story,' says co-creator of rainbow hockey tape. Splashes of rainbow-coloured hockey tape are raising awareness about LGBTQ athletes worldwide, after an Edmonton-based campaign crossed the ocean.

Sport North Introduces Team NWT You Can Play Video
Sport North is privileged to formally join the You Can Play movement, and is beyond grateful to the athletes, coaches, and officials who stepped up participate in our TEAM NWT You Can Play video – the first of its kind by a provincial or territorial sports organization in Canada!

Leading the Way: Working with LGBTQ Athletes and Coaches – A Focus on Trans Inclusion: Webinar
October 24, 2016, Jennifer Birch-Jones
Download the webinar presentation (.pdf, 7.15 MB)
Listen to the webinar:

Just Being Himself, in a Professional Women’s Hockey League
Oct 20, 2016 - He changed his voice mail recording and created a new email address. He updated his LinkedIn profile, too, to reflect his new name. With those details settled, and the National Women’s Hockey League season about to begin, Harrison Browne, who was born Hailey Browne and identifies as a man, was ready to debut as the first openly transgender athlete in professional team sports in North America.

At least 9 out LGBT athletes competing at the Paralympics in Rio
After a Summer Olympic Games that saw a record-smashing number of publicly out lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes, the Paralympics are set to follow suit in Rio. We know of at least nine publicly out Paralympians who will be competing for gold in Rio, the most we have known of in a single Paralympics.

Homophobia becomes a crime in Italian sport
Italian sports authorities have taken a clear position in support of LGBT rights. In an historic decision, Italy’s National Olympic Committee unanimously approved an amendment to its statute, which introduces the crime of homophobia.

CCES Releases Guide to Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport
“I commend the work that the Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group has done to develop guiding policy and practices for sport organizations to better include trans participants in the Canadian sport system,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

NBA: No All-Star Game for North Carolina If Anti-LGBT Law Isn't Changed
After having said last week that no decision had been made on pulling next year’s NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina, the league’s commissioner now says the game definitely will be moved if the state’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law isn’t changed.
“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” said commissioner Adam Silver

How Major Codes are Tackling Homophobia in Sport
Australia, April 27, 2016 - In 2014 Cricket Australia lead the way in taking steps to eradicate homophobia from their code by signing the ‘Anti-Homophobia in Sport Framework,’ and in 2015 also released their ‘A Sport for All’ diversity and inclusion resource for Australian cricket clubs. It’s not just Cricket Australia. All the major Australian sporting codes have now signed onto the world first ‘Pride in Sport’ index.

Olympians and Paralympians bring inclusive message to historic Mardi Gras
The 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday will be the first time a float full of Olympians, Paralympians and their supporters has been entered in the annual event to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of discrimination.

Is sport waking up to homophobia?
Out On The Fields is the first international study on homophobia in sport, compiling responses from almost 9,500 people, including around 25% from heterosexual men and women. The study found that 80% of people had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport

Adidas Encourages Star Athletes to Come Out
Feb 15, 2016 - The world's second largest sportswear company is shaking up the sports industry by being the first company to guarantee they will not terminate any endorsement deals if the athlete comes out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Problems in sport run deeper than homophobia
A University of Auckland researcher is taking a closer look at the experiences LGBTI people have when it comes to women’s sport in the hope to better understand the rigid ideas the sporting world maintains in regards to masculinity and femininity.

Rainbow coloured hockey tape symbol of LGBTQ support
A new initiative aims to promote inclusion in sports through the colour of hockey tape. Pride Tape is the brainchild of the University of Alberta’s Sexual Minority Studies and Services.

The Canadian Women's Hockey League and You Can Play Team Up
On Saturday January 2nd, 2016 the Canadian Women’s Hockey League will be hosting two games in partnership with You Can Play to support and promote equality for all athletes, coaches, staff and fans without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Download promotional info (pdf, 152KB)

Australian campaign against homophobia in sport wins UN Award for its global influence
The United Nations has recognised the Australia-wide campaign to end homophobia in sports with a special award. The United Nations Golden World award (for Public Relations and Public Education with an objective of social progress) recognises the impact the Australian campaign has had on “international social progress”.

PrideHouse Toronto: Ensuring a place for all in sport
PrideHouse Toronto has achieved a number of firsts. For the first time in Pan Am history, an openly gay runner participated in the torch relay, arising from the close partnership of PrideHouseTO with the TORONTO 2015 Organizing Committee. It’s the first to ever receive government funding, which in this case came from the government of Ontario and City of Toronto. And PrideHouse TO lead partner CIBC is the first major corporate sponsor in the history of the Pride House movement.

LGBT issues in sports 101
The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, will offer a course next year called “Sports and Sexual Diversity” in its undergraduate program.

PrideHouse Toronto to continue drive for LGBTQ inclusion during Parapan American Games
More than 31,000 people visited PrideHouse Toronto from a variety of countries from across the region, in addition to Pride House representatives from Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020. They are now hoping to have similar success during the Parapan American Games and are keeping PrideHouse Pavilion open throughout the duration of the event, which opens today and is due to last until August 15.

Much work needed to ensure LGBT athletes can be themselves
From July 10 to 26, 2015, over 8,000 athletes descended upon Toronto for the Pan Am Games. Daily Xtra could only find a small number of them that openly identify as LGBT. It’s not for lack of trying to create a comfortable environment. The 519, Toronto’s LGBT community centre, morphed into PrideHouseTO, an LGBT inclusive space for athletes, fans and community members.

PrideHouseTO shows LGBTQ inclusiveness of Pan Am Games
Initiative a success during Pan Am Games, and will continue during Parapan Am Games

WTA slam Stakhovsky for anti-lesbian comments
The WTA has hit back at Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky following his stunning comments about gay players on the women's tour.

Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games: the Change Room Project
“The first time I encountered a homophobic slur, it was written on the wall in a locker room in my elementary school.” – Elise, lesbian, graduate student. Walking into a gym locker room can evoke a spectrum of emotions. For many users, it’s a get-in-and-get-out-fast type of experience. But few people talk about why they feel the way they do about these spaces.

Megan Rapinoe - 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Feature (Video)
Find out more of what Megan Rapinoe had to say about her life away from the pitch.

N.W.T. first Canadian province or territory to join You Can Play project
'It's about respect for athletes, and coaches and fans': Sport North's Spider Jones

Canadian Olympic Committee launches campaign to promote LGBTQ inclusion
In the moments before Anastasia Bucsis stepped on the ice to race, when her sole focus should have been on what she had to do to win, the speedskater would be consumed by worries that went way beyond sport. What if her competitors knew she was gay? “Which is ridiculous because it shouldn’t matter,” Bucsis said...

Canadian Olympic Committee Launches #OneTeam LGBTQ PSA to Strengthen Message of Inclusion in Sport
#OneTeam Ambassadors stand up for inclusion in sport
TORONTO — On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) launched its first ever #OneTeam LGBTQ inclusion in sport Public Service Announcement (PSA), documenting the challenges that featured athletes faced growing up and competing in sport while being closeted.

Keeper Erin McLeod comes out, leads team and fans as Canadian role model
The 32-year-old goalkeeper is about to play in her third Women’s World Cup. It has been only in recent years, though, that she has truly taken the leap to be exactly who she is – an athlete, an artist, an activist and someone who will speak publicly about being gay

Olympian to share her story of overcoming isolation with Kitchener students
"There are people desperately waiting to hear someone talk about this," she said. "There are people who absolutely need to hear this information and know there is someone else who is the same or who they can relate to or look up to.

Letter sent to IOC calling for pressure on Kazakhstan to drop proposed anti-gay rights bill
Human rights issues have been brought to the fore once again in the contest for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after a group of athletes wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requesting pressure to be put on Kazakhstan to drop proposed anti-gay rights legislation.

Homophobia in sports still pervasive in Canada, new study shows
New data shows that homophobia is still alive and well in Canadian sports and the study, which is the first of its kind, suggests anti-gay attitudes are deterring young people from being active in some athletic fields.

Scottish Sports bodies urged to show homophobia a red card
SPORTS clubs and governing bodies will be urged this week to back a new charter to tackle homophobic bullying in Scotland. The declaration is also aimed at increasing gay and transgender people’s participation in sport.

Hockey player Kendra Fisher comes out: 'Stereotypes of women's sports are keeping lesbians in the closet'
Kendra Fisher, a former elite ice hockey goalie for Canada and current inline hockey player, opened up about her sexual orientation in a public forum for the first time at the Canadian Olympic Committee's #OneTeam round table last week, saying with a pause and conviction: "I am a gay athlete."

Gay Olympians honoured at 2015 Bonham Centre Awards Gala
Pioneering out Olympians are being honoured April 23 for their contributions to LGBT inclusion in sports. Mark Tewksbury, Greg Louganis and Marnie McBean will be recognized as people who have made a difference in the world of sports.

See also: IOC Video "If Not You Then Who?" Mark Tewksbury on his work in Cdn sport on LGBT inclusion from the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Canadian Olympic Committee tackling LGBT issues this week
Continuing on the quest it started six months ago with its #OneTeam initiative, the Canadian Olympic Committee will host an international roundtable on LGBT inclusion in sport this Thursday. The roundtable features various panels and conversations focused on identifying challenges to change in sport and solutions to advancing that change on LGBT issues.

Olympics-IOC receives rights assurances for Winter Games bids
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received non-discrimination assurances from Beijing and Almaty's bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, an official said on Saturday after Beijing police raided an anti-discrimination group this week. The IOC said last year it would include human rights clauses in new contracts to be signed by future Olympic host cities, strengthening its anti-discrimination policy.

Coaches Corner Delivers LGBTQ Resources and Community for Women's Sports Professionals
March 10, 2015 - Br{ache the Silence Co-founders, Nevin Caple and Colleen McCaffrey teamed up with the NCAA, National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Women’s Sports Foundation, Equality Coaches Alliance, SHAPE America and fellow sports advocates, including Pat Griffin, Karen Morrison, Sue Rankin, Sherri Murrell, Kirk Walker and Charley Sullivan to create Coaches Corner, an online networking platform and comprehensive resource for LGBTQ inclusion in women and girl sports.

You Can Play celebrates third anniversary with two new hires, grant
The You Can Play project celebrates its third anniversary today, the organization inspires schools, teams and athletes to create videos aimed at welcoming LGBT people into sports. They celebrate their anniversary with the announcement of two hirings - including GO! Athletes founder Anna Aagenes - and the landing of a grant. Congratulations all the way around!

Gay hockey player went back in the closet to become a coach
Nora Cothren was an out lesbian ice hockey player at Smith College. Yet after she graduated she went back in the closet to become a coach, even denying her engagement to be married. Now she's finding the strength to be her true self.

A more welcoming, more inclusive Pan Am Games
This time, they don't want anyone — repeat, anyone — to feel they're unwelcome. Not like last winter in Sochi, where the Olympic spirit — not to mention its charter — was tarred and feathered by the Russian Duma's hurried, horrid anti-gay legislation. PrideHouseToronto went swiftly into action then, and it's gone into action again as July's Pan Am Games approach. "We're committed to making sure there's a place in sport for all," says Hamilton resident John Jansen, co-chair of PrideHouseToronto's volunteer engagement logistics team.

The 12 ways Sochi 2014 changed gay rights, and the world, forever
The Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 will go down in history as the event that made gay rights not just an issue to discuss, but the center of a civil rights firestorm. Even though it happened in February, the reverberations of the protests are still being felt as we reach the end of the year.

Out Proud Radio Interview with Jennifer Birch-Jones
December 5, 2014 - This was an informative discussion about Women in Sport and Homophobia in Sports with my guest Jennifer Birch Jones, life-long athlete and well known volunteer, national referee, sports professional and advocate for the advancement of women in sport.

2015 Pan Am Games embrace gay athletes and fans
PrideHouse Toronto's plans include a pavilion with 'a safe space for people to watch the Games as well as celebrate athletes and inclusion in sports.' When Toronto hosts the Pan American Games next summer, Burley said it will mark the first time the organizing committee has worked in partnership with the local gay community.

A tale of liberation in a life filled with magical moments
Olympic gold medallist Marnie McBean shares the details of her life before speaking at a keynote talk at the Pan Am Games symposium Saturday in Toronto.

Prejudice against gays and lesbians hurts women’s college basketball
Cindy Russo, who has coached women’s basketball at Florida International University for 40 years, won more than 700 games and seen the sport make great strides, said homophobia remains as much a problem today as it was decades ago.

IOC’s sexual orientation clause ‘exactly what they promised,’ says Vancouver Coun. Tim Stevenson
Vancouver Coun. Tim Stevenson is praising a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee president to fight discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the Olympic movement. “It’s unbelievable,” said Stevenson, who is gay, of the decision by IOC president Thomas Bach to recommend including “non-discrimination on sexual orientation in the 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism.” “I’m absolutely thrilled. This is exactly what they promised me in a meeting I had in Sochi. It’s an amazing turnaround within one year.”

Toronto's LGBT Sport and Recreation Conference: 2015 and Beyond!
Saturday November 29, 2014 10am-5pm
, 519 Church Street Community Centre, Toronto
Keynote speaker Marnie McBean, four time rowing Olympic medalist (3 golds, 1 bronze in rowing) opens the conference as our keynote speaker.
2015 will be a big year for Toronto’s sport and recreation communities and the LGBT sport community is no exception. Through Outsport Toronto’s partnership with PrideHouseTO, the LGBT sport community of Toronto will be focused on ensuring that the Toronto 2015 PanAm/ParaPanAm Games are the most LGBT-inclusive games in history. Beyond the Games however, there are opportunities to leverage the experience of TORONTO2015 to build our capacity and our communities. SCRUM2014 provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight what is to come over the next year while beginning to plan for what is to come for Toronto’s LGBT sport community beyond the Games. SCRUM2014 is a programme of OutSportToronto, presented in partnership with The 519 Church Street Community Centre with the financial assistance of the RBC Royal Bank of Canada.

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Talks About Becoming First Openly Gay Athlete Endorsed by Nike
“It was really important to partner with Nike as I believe in what they are doing,” Griner told TheWrap at the 5th annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit in Dana Point, Calif., explaining that she wouldn't work with a brand that didn't support LGBT athletes.

Time To Break Down Barriers When It Comes To Marketing For LGBT Athletes
October 11, 2014 - In one of the first conversations Brittney Griner ever had with Lindsay Colas, now her agent, the WNBA star talked about how being open about her sexuality might impact her ability to land sponsorship deals.
The bottom line, right from the beginning: She didn't care. And neither did Colas.

Prof joins panel discussion on homophobia in sport
The furor over Michael Sam’s coming out as a gay football player was another reminder that sports may have some distance to go, to be free of homophobia. On Friday, Aug. 29, Egale, the Canada Human Rights Trust, is sponsoring a special panel discussion which deals with this issue, entitled Tackling Homophobia in Sports.

Bingham Cup organisers report on anti-homophobia framework
Earlier this year the organisers of the Bingham Cup posted an ambitious challenge to Australia’s major sporting codes, aiming to end homophobia in sport by the commencement of the Bingham Cup in Sydney
Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League, Football Federation of Australia and Cricket Australia all agreed to sign on to a new anti homophobia framework in the hopes of eliminating homophobia in their codes ahead fo the Bingham Cup tournaments which begin in Sydney this week

Equality is a team sport
The past 18 months have truly been groundbreaking in the LGBT sports landscape. The likes of Jason Collins, Michael Sam, Derick Gordon, as well as Olympians Sally J Shipard, Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Caitlin Cahow and Belle Brockhoff have all come out so loudly and so proudly!

UK to give extra help so gays win gold at Olympics
July 23, 2014 - British gay athletes are to get extra help to overcome the problems they face and win gold at the Olympics and other top contests. It will start with top-level athletes meeting with LGBTI sports experts to find out if discrimination or keeping their sexuality secret is holding them back.

UCLA Women's Soccer breaks the silence about LGBT players
UCLA Women’s Soccer Program joined Br{ache the Silence Tour of Champions to offer their support for the LGBT community in Women’s Sports nationally. Br{ache the Silence Tour of Champions invites national champions in Women’s Soccer to create a video where student-athletes have an opportunity to discuss the importance of inclusion of LGBT athletes in sports.

We don't seek to wag the finger on LGBT rights, says Scottish Minister
Scotland does not seek to dictate to fellow Commonwealth Games countries when it comes to rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, claimed the Scottish Government's Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, here today.

Homophobia in sport: Australian study reveals abuse still widespread
Australian Channel Seven commentator Brian Taylor was widely condemned for calling an AFL player a “big poofter” during a recent broadcast. In May, the NRL match review committee said it would investigate a homophobic slur audible during Fox Sports’ broadcast of an under-20s State of Origin match.
But preliminary results from the first national study on homophobia in Australian sport reveal such incidents are a common experience in many sporting environments all the way down to the grassroots level.

Calgary speedskater stars in LGBT documentary filmed on the ‘down-low’ during Sochi Games
Anti-gay propaganda swirled ahead of February’s Sochi Games, but Anastasia Bucsis did her best to keep her focus on the ice. The Calgary speed skater did announce the previous September that she was gay and proud of it, but declined “99 per cent” of media interview requests.
Prior to the Games, Russia’s government passed laws barring public displays of affection among same-sex couples and Sochi’s own mayor said in an interview that homosexuality didn’t exist in his city, because “it’s not accepted here.” Still, Bucsis had worked for years to get to the Games and wanted to be remembered more for her race.

Canadian Olympians to march in 2014 World Pride Parade
Toronto’s annual Pride Week gets an international look this year with the 2014 World Pride Parade. Attending will be some of the country’s finest sport ambassadors: Canadian Olympians.
Among the athletes will be rower Marnie McBean, a three-time Olympic gold medallist. “We are a diverse country and we’re at our best when we choose to embrace each other’s identities, fostering a safe and open environment for our friends, teammates and neighbours to be themselves,” McBean said through the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Canadian Olympians and pro athletes to march with You Can Play in World Pride Parade
June 27, 2014 -About three dozen Canadian Olympians, pro athletes and representatives from Canadian pro sports teams will march in the World Pride Parade in Toronto this Sunday with the You Can Play project.

Members Of Congress Urge Olympic Committee To Add LGBT Protections
June 27, 2014 - Nineteen members of Congress on Tuesday asked the International Olympic Committee to amend its charter later this year to bar anti-LGBT discrimination.

The WNBA Televises Its Pride With LGBT Campaign
June 23, 2014- Sunday's nationally televised WNBA game between the Tulsa Shock and Chicago Sky was more than just two teams playing basketball. It was billed as the league's first national Pride Game, and it is part of a bigger initiative by the WNBA to embrace the LGBT community.

FIFA will probe anti-gay chants at World Cup
June 19, 2014 - FIFA has started disciplinary proceedings against four countries after alleged homophobic chants by their fans during their World Cup matches.

Welsh Charter to tackle homophobic discrimination in sport
A new charter promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in sport has been launched by Sports Minister John Griffiths. Schools, clubs and national governing bodies in Wales are being urged to sign up in a bid to tackle discrimination. The charter asserts a zero tolerance approach to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

I am Charline Labonte, Olympic hockey player and proudly gay.
Charline Labonte played in her fourth Winter Olympics for Canada in Sochi. Her girlfriend, speed skater Anastasia Buscis, was there with her. Labonte talks here for the first time about being gay.

WNBA to market to LGBT community
The WNBA is kicking off a campaign to market specifically to the LGBT community, a shift that makes it the first pro league to specifically recruit gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered fans to its games.
With the campaign, the WNBA is capitalizing on what it has known for years: The community makes up a significant portion of its fan base. The difference now is that the league is talking about it publicly and making it a deliberate part of its marketing strategy.

A Review of Reappearing Act by Kate Fagan
The Reappearing Act is a gripping memoir written with honesty and wry humor about Kate Fagan's painful, but ultimately triumphant journey to truth and self-acceptance as a lesbian. As a college basketball player on a nationally-ranked team Kate Fagan's story exposes the influence of Evangelical Christian sport ministries on young athletes and the crushing fear of being publicly identified as lesbian that holds so many women coaches and athletes hostage.

The Times They Are A-Changin' for LGBTQ People in Sports
March 18, 2014 - The lyrics from Bob Dylan's classic 1960s social change anthem capture the generational shifts that are now underway in sports. As younger generations of LGBTQ and ally athletes and coaches express greater openness and desire for activism on LGBTQ issues, they are pushing back on the norms of silence, exclusion and secrecy long accepted by their elders.

Have Pride: dedicated LGBT centre to tackle homophobia at Glasgow Games
February 24, 2014 - The Glasgow Commonwealth Games will provide a "Pride House" throughout the event in a bid to tackle homophobia in sport.

University of Alberta partnering with You Can Play to educate and study homophobia, transphobia …
February 19, 2014 - The University of Alberta has teamed up with an advocacy organization to fight homophobia, transphobia and discrimination in sports.

Olympic Committee Defends Transgender Activist Vladimir Luxuria's Removal From Sochi Arena
February 18, 2014 - The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday defended the removal of an Italian gay rights activist from a Sochi arena, saying she was "escorted from there peacefully" and not detained.

Canada’s athletes push Russian anti-gay laws aside as they head to Sochi
The Canadian Olympic Committee trumpeted its support of athletes participating in Pride events across Canada last summer with press releases and photos. That message is decidedly toned down heading into the 2014 Winter Olympic in Sochi, Russia.

Obama Jabs Putin, Picks Openly Gay Delegates For Winter Olympics In Russia
President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his delegates to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And, in what may be a thumb in the eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin over his crackdown on gay rights, two of Obama's delegates are openly gay.

Silence is not golden
In the past six months, the conversation about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has ebbed and flowed as athletes, journalists and sports executives have expressed concern about Russia's anti-gay laws while also urging restraint amid the specter of protest at the Games. But we haven't yet harnessed the full power of the moment -- and the potential for change that comes with it -- because too many voices remain silent.

New Zealand to appoint special diplomat to help with problems over anti-gay law at Sochi 2014
New Zealand's Government is to appoint a diplomat dedicated to ensuring that its citizens are not targeted by Russia's controversial anti-gay laws during next year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi next year.

If You Can Play, You Can Play
You Can Play is a social activism campaign dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in sports, centered around the slogan, "If you can play, you can play." ...

America's newest member of the International Olympic Committee would vote to amend the Olympic charter to list sexual orientation as a form of discrimination.
U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst, voted onto the IOC last month, said such an amendment is one of the few avenues available to the USOC as it tries to send a message to Russia, which recently passed an anti-gay law, less than a year before it hosts the Winter Olympics.

Sexual orientation added to U.S. code
The U.S. Olympic Committee board revised its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation, a nod to its disapproval of the Russian anti-gay law recently passed by the Olympic host country.

Call to use Commonwealth Games to share LGBT progress
27 September 2013 - The Commonwealth Games could be used as a platform to inspire some participating countries to address their record of criminalising their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, the [Scottish] Sports Minister has said.

ALL IN embodies the message of inclusion through the personalization of the LGBTQ community in collegiate and professional sports. The PSA features prominent leaders in the women’s sports community, both LGBTQ and straight ally athletes and coaches, speaking in their own intimate words on challenges, personal experiences, and necessary steps for an inclusive environment in women’s sports.

Olympic speed skater Anastasia Bucsis ‘so proud to be gay’
The Calgary athlete’s life is centred on training – six to eight hours a day, six days a week. Even when she announced to family and friends she was gay two years ago, the speed skater didn’t want her sexual orientation to become her whole identity.

Bianka Viel and Guylaine Demers discuss breaking down the “wall of silence” related to homophobia in sport in the latest Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching.
Read the story (.pdf)

LGBTQ athletes: coming out in the varsity locker room
For most people, a trip to Hawaii is synonymous with relaxation and the absence of confrontation. For Matthew Hawes, the journey had a sour send-off several years ago. While swimming for the Canadian national team, Hawes faced a challenge when the squad prepared to leave for training camp on the tropical island. His 10 teammates were invited to bring their significant others, but a coach discreetly told Hawes, who is openly gay, that bringing his boyfriend would be a problem.

MUN launches anti-homophobia sports campaign
Memorial University has launched a campaign to promote acceptance amongst all athletes, and to encourage people in the gay and transgender community to get involved in varsity sports. The university released a video on its website Wednesday as part of the You Can Play project, depicting MUN athletes in a show of solidarity for athletes of all sexual orientation and gender.

Gay groups call on Rogge to set up IOC Pride House as protest against new Russian laws
Calls have been launched for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help set-up a Pride House during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to help ensure the safety of homosexual athletes, officials and spectators attending the Games amid fears that they will be targeted due to Russia's new controversial gay hate law.

Baird blasts Russia's 'hateful' anti-gay law, after pushing privately for change
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird denounced Russia's controversial new anti-gay law as hateful Thursday, saying it could incite violence.

Should Olympians fear Russia's anti-gay laws?
A widening crackdown in Russia is raising questions about how best to keep athletes and fans who support gay rights safe at the Sochi Olympics this winter. The Kremlin passed a law in late June that makes it illegal to spread "propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations" to minors, under threat of steep fines. Many critics of the new law point to it as evidence that homophobia is on the rise in Russia.

Apartheid South Africa Banned by IOC for 28 Years; Jailing of LGBTs Goes Unpunished?
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) set a precedent on human rights in sport when it banned South Africa from participating in the Olympics in 1964, to protect the Games from racial discrimination. Why then is it refusing to take action now when the rights of LGBT people are under threat?

Anti-gay laws won’t apply at Winter Olympics: Russia
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received assurances from the “highest level” of the Russian Government that its controversial “homosexual propaganda” laws will not apply to athletes and others involved in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Star Observer received the statement today via the Australian Olympic Committee as an amendment to the IOC’s original statement issued last week.

Addressing Homophobia in Sport Coaching Resource Advisory Group
CAAWS is very exciting to be working on a new Addressing Homophobia in Sport Coaching Resource, with the help of our partners AthletesCAN and Coaches of Canada we have setup an Advisory Group comprised of very distinguished coaches and athletes representing individual and team sports and para-sports, summer and winter sports, both genders, both Official Languages, and of course, sexual diversity. Our resource for coaches is aimed to be educational and practical, providing coaches with the answers to their key questions as well as leading practices to help them create environments welcoming to sexual diversity for both women and men. The coaching resource will be available in the fall so in the mean time please check out our other addressing homophobia resources at

Rose Pitkin, Nike LGBT Sports Summit Followup
Please enjoy these brief yet important reflections from Rose Pitkin, a collegiate ambassador with GO! Athletes and attendee of the 2013 Nike LGBT Sports Summit! Rose is a rising senior at Swarthmore College where she is a member of the softball team!

Canadian Olympic Team to March in Toronto's Pride Parade for First Time
Toronto – Canadian Olympians will join hundreds of thousands of fans and spectators in celebrating Pride Week festivities in Toronto by participating in the 33rd annual Pride Parade.

CAAWS ED Attends the LGBT Nike Summit
June 20, 2013 - Last week Nike played host to the second LGBT Sports Summit, June 12-15, in Portland, Ore. The event brought together over 100 people aimed at ending anti-LGBT bias in sports by 2016. It was quite a few days. One of the accomplished tasks was for last year's attendees to formalize the LGBT Sports Coalition.

Scotland to tackle homophobia in sport
June 2013 - The Scottish government pledged its commitment to tackle homophobia in sports, after a recent report by the Equality Network charity the problem is widespread.

Gag Orders on Sexuality
When Brittney Griner, Baylor University’s star basketball player and one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of the sport, came out publicly as gay last month, she was rather nonchalant about it.
But, as Griner revealed a few weeks later, she wasn’t allowed to be open as much as she might have liked.

International Day Against Homophobia
CAAWS Salutes Work Being Done to Make Sport More Welcoming to those who are LGBTQ and Announces the Development of a Coaching Resource in Partnership with Coaches of Canada and AthletesCan.

Brittney Griner: Story on Coming Out
May 6, 2013 - Yesterday in The New York Times, Brittney Griner wrote about her story of coming out, growing up, being bullied, and living an honest life.
Basketball star, Brittney Griner talks about her experience being bullied and how life got better for her in this video for the It Gets Better Project.

When It Comes To Erasing Homophobia, Why Sports Matters
“It's this idea that team sports are physically, and emotionally, bonding,” says Kimmell. “The sports dynamic is not unlike the military. And like the military, there's been this thought in sports that an openly-gay person would disturb this male ...

You Can Play co-founder challenges homophobia among fans
You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts says two instances of homophobia among fans at an April 20 Ottawa Senators versus Toronto Maple Leafs game are “detrimental to the sport.” Ottawa Senators fan Emily Bradley, 29, left the game at Scotiabank Place...

Casey Stoney: Homosexuality in sport should not be an issue
The recent news about male sports stars coming out as gay has made me think that things are moving in the right direction regarding homophobia in sport. NBA basketball star Jason Collins is still playing and declared his sexuality this week, while ...

The double standard of sports sexuality

Vancouver athletes hail gay NBA player
Canadian Olympic Gold Medallist Mark Tewksbury, who came out 15 years ago, says the fact Collins came out will help him become a better NBA player. "I think the difficulty as an individual is to not be who you are, because you're always fighting your own energy," Tewksbury said.

Nike signs out lesbian Brittney Griner
The WNBA star's endorsement deal confirms Nike's commitment to LGBT athletes

The meaning of Jason Collins' coming out
The kids today will never know a world without an openly gay male pro athlete

Here are some female pro athletes who came out years before Jason Collins
While the sports world acknowledges the reality that prominent gay professional athletes like Jason Collins exist, our friends at Buzzfeed remind us that the ladies have been breaking barriers as self-identified lesbians for decades.

Martina Navratilova: Jason Collins a 'game-changer'
Now that Jason Collins has come out, he is the proverbial "game-changer." One of the last bastions of homophobia has been challenged.

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Opens Up About Being Gay in Professional Sports: "Don't Hide Who You Really Are"
"Being one that's out, it's just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are," Brittney, who is openly gay, explained. "Don't worry about what other people are going to say, because they're always going to say something, but if you're just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don't hide who you really are."

Female Star Comes Out as Gay, and Sports World Shrugs
One of the most dominant basketball players in recent memory came out as gay Wednesday, casually mentioning the fact in an interview as if it were an afterthought. The news media and the sports world seemed to treat it as such, too, with little mention of the star’s sexuality showing up on social media or on message boards, and virtually no analysis of what the revelation meant for tolerance in society as a whole.

National Education Index for students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs across the US. is a comprehensive and informative resource that systematically sorts out the available undergraduate and graduate programs available today in the U.S.

Day of Pink Gala - Ottawa
Join us for the 8th Annual & International Day of Pink Gala, April 10th, 6 p.m., Government Conference Centre, Ottawa. Featuring: The Rt Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Jian Ghomeshi, Mark Tewksbury, Stephanie La Rochelle. Download the pdf poster. (.pdf, 1.6MB)

An openly gay player in the NFL is not a distraction
"Don't be a distraction." These words are pounded into every single NFL player's head from the day he enters the league until the day he leaves (and I would imagine it holds true for just about every professional sport). The same message, over and over and over -- "The team comes first," "Sacrifice your personal goals to win," "Only be judged by what goes on between the lines" -- which is why I find it unsurprising that there are no openly gay athletes in any of the big four professional sports leagues in the U.S.: the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.

You Can Play Burnaby: Ensuring a level playing field for gay athletes
April 2, 2013 - How many professional gay athletes do you know? Zero? That's what BC Lions wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi, who identifies as straight, thought when he was asked that question. But he soon found he was second-guessing himself. "Maybe I have played with some gay athletes," he said. "Maybe they just didn't feel comfortable enough to come out.

Gay slurs still mainstream in world of professional sports
April 2, 2013 - Pro football teams may think it is acceptable to ask prospective employees about their sexual orientation, but a public forum in Burnaby was told empathically otherwise. If the culture changes, it might in part come about because of B.C. Lions receiver Marco Iannuzzi, who is hoping to advance the discussion of homophobia in sports in a manner once done with race and religion.

Conference tackling homophobia in the locker room
March 25, 2013 - Saskatoon – The longest-running anti-homophobia conference in Canada began tackling issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in sports at the University of Saskatchewan yesterday. This year’s theme ‘removing homophobia from the locker room and beyond’ – aims to change a certain stigma often found in sports.

UK Sports minister supports anti-homophobia target for clubs
March 20, 2013 - Only 29 of 92 clubs are actively engaged in the 'Football v Homophobia' initiative which launched in February. But campaigners are hoping 50% of clubs join the scheme by the end of March, with the Football Association issuing a toolkit to help them.

Fair go, sport! Evaluation and Flexible Model of Engagement released
March 19, 2013 - Being able to participate in sport is good for our health and wellbeing - and it's a great way to connect and develop a sense of belonging. However, recent research by Victoria and La Trobe universities [Australia] shows sport is a significant site for homophobic harassment and exclusion. and

Athletes to Speak at Burnaby Forum on Homophobia in Sport
March 18, 2013 - University of Ottawa communications student, Scott Heggart, will be bringing his message of hope and anti-homophobia to Michael J. Fox Theatre on March 28 at 7 p.m. He'll speak as part of a panel of gay and lesbian athletes sharing their coming-out stories at a free public forum put on by You Can Play Burnaby, discussing homophobia in sports.

New NCAA Resource Champions of Respect: Inclusion of LGBTW Student-Athletes and Staff in NCAA Programs.
A Must Read Here in Canada – Coauthored by well-known educator and advocate, Dr. Pat Griffin, Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Taylor Hudson, Athlete Ally founder, this 82 page guide is the first ever comprehensive resource guide for university and college athletes, coaches and administrators on policies pertaining to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. The resource guide offers member institutions, athletic conference leaders, athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes with information, policy and best practice recommendations and resources to assure that all members of the athletic department, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression can participate in a safe, respectful and inclusive environment. It applies to and can be easily be adapted to any sport organization here in Canada.

Open letter to Vladimir Putin and Jacques Rogge to support a Pride House at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi
February 7, 2013 - Open Letter to the IOC President to Make the 2014 Sochi Games Welcoming to LGBTQ

Lincoln students campaign to stamp out homophobia in sport
February 5, 2013 - Students at the University of Lincoln (UK) are campaigning to raise awareness after a new zero tolerance policy was introduced to eliminate discrimination. The Stamp It Out campaign follows research from NUS that found homophobic attitudes prevented students participating in sport because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

How We’re Winning Respect in Sports
February 5, 2013 - If you heard about San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver’s Super Bowl press conference today, you learned that he was “just kidding around” earlier this week when he made shocking homophobic comments.

Straight Women Allies in Sport: Rare Sightings of An Important Species
February 1, 2013 - Over the last several months an impressive number of high profile straight men in sport have stepped forward to speak out publicly in support of marriage equality and the inclusion of LGBTQ people in sports as well as against anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools.

You Can Play - UNB Athletics video
October 26, 2012 - At the University of New Brunswick, we respect and value all the student athletes that contribute to the success for which our athletic program is known. Join us as we provide a safe environment to our student athletes, employees, friends and family of the LGBT community.
Watch video:

Toronto Marlies sign pledge to fight homophobia in sports
CTV News - The Toronto Marlies made history Monday after they signed a pledge to fight homophobia in the world of professional sports and support and respect all players, coaches and fans, regardless of sexuality.

Marauders March for Inclusion & LGBTQ Equality
Joining the Pride March for the third year in a row, the Department of Athletics & Recreation aims to open doors, and knows they are turning heads. Driven by their commitment to building an inclusive community, Jeff Giles, Director of Athletics & Recreation, explained their role and participation: "We’re committed to creating an environment conducive to helping everyone achieve their full potential, no matter our differences." Emphasis on everyone. Giles said that the Department has made a lot of progress but still has a long way to go. He also raised the stakes, noting people from around the country are not just watching the Marauders on the playing field. "As one of two Universities in Canada participating in the CIS-CAAWS Pilot Project to Build Inclusive Sport, the general sport community is watching and waiting for us to show the way."

LGBT Students Put Off Sport For Life By Bullying, NUS' Out In Sport Report Reveals
Homophobic and transphobic bullies are driving LGBT students out of sport, with many victims blasting school and university cultures as "alienating and unwelcoming", it has emerged. The National Union of Students' (NUS) Out in Sport report revealed only a third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) students at college or university participate in organised team sport, with 37.8% of those saying they are not open about their sexuality with their teammates.

Has the Search for Gay Male Athletes Distracted Us from Homophobia in Women's Sports?
For someone like me who has made a career advocating for the elimination of the discrimination and harassment that LGBT people experience in sport, it has been a dizzying two years of progress. The topic of LGBT inclusion in sport is now a standard fixture in mainstream sport media. Everyone seems to be speculating about when the first gay athlete in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB will come out while he is still playing.

Sexism and Homophobia in Sports: A Co-Dependency That Needs Our Attention
With every week, "homophobia in sport" grows as a common talking point in mainstream media, a vague catchphrase to explain specific and convoluted problems in athletics, problems like the lack of openly LGBT athletes and the use of anti-LGBT insults. ...Rarely, however, do the media or advocates in this space address the complicated nuances of homophobia or flesh out its relationship to other biases, like racism and sexism.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Orientation in Sport: Essays from Activists, Coaches, and Scholars
"A collection of essays from researchers, activists, counselors, and coaches, the book touches on the myriad of issues facing sexual minority athletes, coaches, and administrators today. It represents the first book to have contributions from both researchers and practitioners, all with the aim of advancing LGBT inclusiveness in sport and physical activity."

London 2012 Olympics: A place of pride
London followed the lead of Vancouver and set up a place for LGBT athletes to gather. That won’t happen in Sochi, and the IOC should do something about it. Read more...

Olympic Homophobia: Why Are There So Few Openly Gay Athletes?
In the high-profile world of Olympic competition, only a small (but growing) number of gay athletes have publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation. Read more...

Gay Veteran Fencer Takes on Human Rights in the Olympics
Imke Duplitzer understands that as an Olympic-level athlete she can be a vehicle for change. The veteran German fencer works arduously to promote human rights in the Olympics, to highlight LGBT athletes worldwide, to increase accessibility of sports for people with disabilities, and, above all, to support athletes’ right to speak out against discrimination and human rights worldwide. Read more...

New Pride House launched for London Olympics
A new Pride House festival has been launched for the London Olympics at the last minute after a lack of sponsorship meant the original event was cancelled. Read more...

Pride House lives, set to welcome fans and athletes during London Olympics
LONDON — Pride Sports UK, in collaboration with the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation, the Federation of Gay Games, GLISA International, the LGBT Consortium, and the Pride House Foundation, is pleased to announce Pride House 2012, a welcoming space for all athletes, staff, spectators and friends of London 2012. Pride House 2012 will be open from 3 to 7 August at CA House in Limehouse Basin, with the Pride House 2012 festival continuing in various venues through 12 August, the day of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. Read more...

Undercurrent of homophobia still shapes women's sports
When Joyce Iamstrong was considering joining the FGCU women’s basketball team last year, she wondered whether the school offered her desired degree program, not whether the team was accepting of lesbians. Read more...

U.S. soccer star Rapinoe publicly announces she's gay
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” she says. “I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People want -- they need -- to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol' U.S. of A.” Read more...

Report reveals Scotland sport blighted by gay and trans hate
Research published today by the Equality Network in Scotland reveals that homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport is widespread and stops LGBT people from participating. The culture of homophobia and transphobia across Scottish sports causes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to shy away from participating even at school. As adults many feel they are unable be open about their sexuality or gender identity in sporting environments. Read more...

ESPN launches employee LGBT ally program with Trey Wingo, Sage Steele and others
ESPN, one of the world’s leading sports brands, today launched an employee-based program for allies of the LGBT community to stand up in vocal support of their fellow employees. ESPN Equal, their LGBT employee group, created a video that includes such TV personalities as Trey Wingo and Sage Steele. Read more...

Swedish Ski star admits she is a lesbian
Ski star Anja Paerson revealed she had a long-term girlfriend, Filippa, and that she is expecting a baby. "I am tired of being someone else and of playing a game. I owe it to myself and especially to Filippa to tell the truth," Paerson said on a program on Swedish public radio that each week during the summer has a new celebrity host. Read more...

Equality Forum Sports Panel Deals with Repercussions of ‘Locker Room Slurs’
Homophobia, all panelists noted, has always been prevalent in the world of sports. All openly-gay panelists had experienced it at some point or another. Read more...

Canadian premiere screening in Toronto - "No Look Pass"
Friday April 13th, 2012
Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas 2190 Yonge Street, Toronto
Info: (2011, 87 min, USA)
Synopsis: NO LOOK PASS is the coming-of-age American Dream story of Emily "Etay" Tay, a first generation Burmese immigrant from Chinatown, Los Angeles, who breaks all of the rules of tradition. After living a double life at Harvard University, she strives to play professional basketball in Germany while coming out as a lesbian. Emily's dreams are no slam dunk — family, race, and Don't Ask Don't Tell conspire against her, firing her passions on and off the court.

Judge bans Sochi 2014 gay Pride House claiming it would offend "public morality"
[Except] A Pride House for gay athletes and officials competing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will not be set up after the move was stopped by a Russian judge Svetlana Mordovina who described the idea as "extremist". Read more:

Russian judge bans Pride House from 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
[Except] The Sochi court said that Pride House’s goals “undermine public morals and are at odds with national policy on the family, motherhood and children.” Read More:

VIDEO: New anti-Homophobia in Football film
The FA has released a brand new film around anti-Homophobia in Football ahead of announcing an action plan on the subject at Wembley Stadium next week. The film features Brendon Batson and former FA Cup winner and England international John Scales, plus ex-Reading skipper Ady Williams who was capped 13 times by Wales. Read More:

John Amaechi says 'reactive' FA responsible for homophobia
The Football Association is responsible for a climate of homophobia in the game, according to former NBA basketball player John Amaechi. The governing body launches a new six-year inclusion and anti-homophobia plan on Monday with no openly gay players among almost 3,000 professionals. But Amaechi, who came out in 2007 and has been vocal in his criticisms of football's attitude towards homosexuality, says the issue will only be solved by greater diversity among the FA board members - not "posters and platitudes". Read More:

Female Boxing: Forced To Wear A Skirt?
[Excerpt] This emphasis placed on gendered norms highlighting delicateness and grace is certainly not aligned with the way I understand boxing as a discipline, nor does it fit into the current social reality where women and men are given equal credence as athletes. Read more:

Leafs GM Brian Burke ‘greatly honoured’ by award from gay community
Brian Burke, GM of the Maple Leafs, received the 'Ally Award' given by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to a community leader dedicated to fighting homophobia and bullying. Read More:

Laura Robson's rainbow hair-band follows a long tradition of political statements in the sporting arena
[Excerpt] For those who think sport and politics should not mix — it is too late. Politicians use sport — to proselytise, to empathise. Politicians sit in corporate boxes, drink corporate wine and present sponsored trophies – they woo the sponsors and the sponsors woo them back. Read More:

Outsports' Persons of the Year: Pat Griffin and Helen Carroll
You'd be hard-pressed to name two people who have collectively had a stronger impact on the gay-sports movement than Pat Griffin and Helen Carroll. These two pioneers have been working toward equality for the better part of 30 years. They’ve visited high schools. They’ve talked to colleges. They’ve waged legal campaigns. They’ve educated educators. And with more incredible work in 2011, our readers have named these two women our “Persons of the Year.” Read more:

Sexual Abuse of Boys in Sports: Is Homophobia A Factor In Delayed Reporting?
[Excerpt] In the context of traditional team sports, where homophobia is frequently normalised, boys are constantly and openly "measured' for their conformity to sexist and homophobic norms and ideals. In such circumstances, then, young males who have been abused simply do not want to tell.
Read more:

Penn State University again deficient in leadership
[Excerpt] Unfortunately, many universities -- if they're being honest -- need to look at themselves and say, "Do we do all we can to ensure that everyone's compass is directed toward doing what's right, even if that might initially cause some bad publicity for the university or mean sparring with a powerful coach? Do we look out for the powerless? Is our moral code as strong as it needs to be? Where are our true priorities? Who are we most concerned about protecting?"

Give Homophobia the Red Card: Cleaning Up Women's Soccer by 2015
Homophobia has no place in women's soccer, at any level, anywhere. This week's Women's World Cup of Football in Germany is a sporting event of great skill and drama, heroism and resilience. It is exciting to watch. Television coverage of this sport is improving steadily. Growing visibility and positive momentum are powering women's soccer forward. But, in many parts of the world, anti-lesbian attitudes, talk and actions persist at both the grassroots and professional levels of women's football (as it is known outside North America). And in some countries, such discrimination can spark deadly violence and loss of life. Read More:

Game, Sex and Match: The Perils of Female Sports Advertising
[Excerpt] It's no mystery why these campaigns strictly conform to gender norms, showcasing female athletes as feminine and sensual. It's the same reason why men's tennis will probably never run a campaign suggesting "strong is handsome," or try to court viewers by showing tennis' new world No. 1 Novak Djokovic with his shirt off. The issue at play is homophobia. "That's a huge part of this," says Marie Hardin, associate director of the Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. "There's this idea of the lesbian bogeywoman, the predatory lesbian in sports. Unfortunately there's a real fear mongering that doesn't help women's sports at all."
Read more:,8599,2081209,00.html

NCLR [National Centre for Lesbian Rights] Sport Project Director Helen Caroll Discusses Homophobia in Women's Soccer

Coach's stance symptomatic of homophobia in Africa
[Except] Sport, and soccer in particular, has the knack of bringing people together - despite their religion, culture, or political persuasion. Perhaps we need a find a way to add sexual orientation to the list. Read More:

FIFA's position on discriminating statements
FIFA has confirmed that Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's Head of Women’s Competitions, met with Nigeria coach Eucharia Uche on Wednesday 29 June 2011 in Frankfurt to inform her and discuss media reports regarding alleged discriminating statements on homosexuality.

Women’s Football Deserves Better:
[Excerpt] - Homophobia and sexism are entwined. The women’s game deserves better than it gets, and that begins with recognizing the skill and dedication of the athletes – and refusing to be sidelined by nonsensical diversions. A player’s sexuality and her “attractiveness” are not important; whether or not she can help her team put the ball in the net is. As fans, we can honour our teams by demanding equality at the every level of the game, from the stands to the executives.

Tell FIFA: Red Card to Homophobia:
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has a powerful record of fighting discrimination. Now as Nigeria takes the field in the Women's World Cup opening game, FIFA needs to give coach Uche the red card: publicly condemn systematic discrimination and take the necessary steps to end homophobia in the league.

In African Women’s Soccer, Homophobia Remains an Obstacle.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, states as part of its mission a desire to use the game in “overcoming social and cultural obstacles for women with the ultimate aim of improving women’s standing in society.” But the story of Nigeria’s Super Falcons illustrates the cultural obstacles that remain for many African women who play soccer decades after more assertive efforts at inclusivity occurred in places like the United States, Germany, Norway, Sweden and more recently in Brazil.

Vancouver 2011 Outgames Human Rights Conference
Where: July 25-31, 2011 Sheraton Wall Hotel and Conference Centre
The Vancouver 2011 Human Rights Conference has grown from the three-day event to a six-day collaboration with several different organizations. The Conference offers a variety of opportunities and sessions to reflect on the different themes and audiences participating in this event. A one-day symposium discussing homophobia and transphobia in sports will be hosted by Sport BC, the provincial sport authority for British Columbia in collaboration with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity. Participants in this session will include sports leaders and sports organization staff, coaches, trainers, and volunteers. For more information, visit

Why it’s vital to kick homophobia out of sport, by David Cameron, Prime Minster of the United Kingdom
In order to end homophobia and transphobia we need cultural change and we also need role models. Whereas we’ve many to choose from in business, the arts and politics, we have too few in sport. I congratulate Gareth Thomas and Steven Davies for the decision they made and the inspiration they’ve given and I am delighted that two of the all-time greats of tennis – two magnificent role models – are backing our work in this area: Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King – who I was delighted to welcome to No10. But, put simply, you don’t have to be gay to be a role model, so we need others who care for this issue to stand up and be counted. Read More:

Nigerian women’s football team ‘eradicates lesbianism’
The Nigerian coach, Eucharia Uche, claims that since she was hired in 2009, she has eradicated homosexuality from the squad. The coach also has said that lesbianism was “morally very wrong” and “a dirty issue”. Read More

Can we change the face of professional sport? Unlike the UK, Canada has no national gay sports charity
June 2, 2011 - Excerpt - While there doesn’t seem to be a Canadian charity for gay athletes, that doesn’t mean there’s no support for them at all. Lofstrom points to Step Up! Speak Out! Ally Campaign for Inclusive Sport. It’s a website that features statements from Olympic [gold] medallist Mark Tewksbury and basketball player Danielle Peers. Lofstrom says it was created as a way of calling on the Canadian sport community to respect everyone, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation.

Guide for Addressing Homophobic Language in Sport
CAAWS’ Guide for Addressing Homophobic Language in Sport is now available– Adapted from the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) new report, A Guide for Addressing Homophobic Language in Sport brings attention to homophobic language and how it often goes unchallenged. This guide (PDF 124 KB) offers practical advice on how to address homophobic language within a team or sport organization environment.

USOC official Peter Vidmar resigns after anti-gay marriage actions
May 9, 2011 - Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, who last week was named chef de mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, abruptly resigned Friday after a firestorm of negative attention in the media and inside the U.S. Olympic Committee due to his 2008 actions against gay marriage.

Outsports: Confronting an Enduring Taboo
“The core of what we do is cover the nexus of gays and sports,” said Cyd Zeigler, one of the Web site’s two founders. “And there is no competition.” The fact that Outsports could still seem so distinctive a couple of decades into the age of the Internet — with its endless assortment of blogs, Web sites, chat groups and more — says something about the enduring taboo of being a gay athlete.

Homophobia in Women’s Basketball: Interview with Pat Griffin
March 22, 2011 – Pat Griffin, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Social Justice Education and Project Director for Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project, speaks to Women Talk Sports about homophobia in women’s basketball.

GLSEN Launches Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project to Address LGBT
Issues in K-12 Sports

March 17, 2011 – In an effort to make K-12 sports and physical education safer and more inclusive for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and a diverse coalition of athletes, journalists and sports figures today launch Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project ( More...

UK Minister shows red card to homophobia and transphobia in sport
March 14, 2011 - Britain’s biggest sports are backing a new government campaign to stamp out homophobia and transphobia. The Football Association, the Lawn Tennis Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union joined the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in becoming the first signatories of the Charter for Action, which aims to make sport a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people. More...

2011 Canada Games
Leading up to the 2011 Canada Games, CAAWS talked with the Chefs de Mission (download Chefs letter, PDF 128KB) and the Apprentice Women Coaches (download letter, PDF 118KB) about creating a sport environment welcoming of diversity.

Australian Fair go, sport! project
The Australian Sports Commission has created the Fair go, sport! project to increase awareness of sexual and gender diversity in sport, and to promote safe and inclusive sporting environments for everyone. Fair go, sport! is an opportunity for [field] hockey to explore the issues of diversity and inclusion, learn about what can be done to make this sport and others more welcoming, and showcase current positive practices. For more information, see the attached poster (PDF, 299KB) or visit

UK Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League (RFL) in the UK has created a new resource to address homophobia in sport. This is the first in a series of reports the RFL plans to create to make sport more welcoming of diversity. Guidance for Rugby League Clubs: Challenging Anti Gay (homophobic) Abuse and Behaviour offers practical advice on how to address homophobic language within club environment s as well as on game day. Visit the Rugby Football League’s website at for more information. The full report can be also be accessed at (.pdf)

2010 PRIDE house Legacy Report Calls on the Canadian Sport Community to Tackle Homophobia

November 26, 2010 - The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is pleased to highlight the recent release of the 2010 PRIDE house Legacy Report which captures the successes and learning experiences from the first ever PRIDE houses held at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Legacy Report also calls on the Canadian sport community to step up and do more to tackle homophobia in sport. Jennifer Birch-Jones, the report’s author and CAAWS’s Program Lead for the Addressing Homophobia in Sport Initiative notes that “although this historic first ever PRIDE house is a true beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in the LGBT community here in Canada and around the world, much more work needs to be done if significant and lasting change is to be made in making Canadian sport more welcoming to sexual diversity.”

A Challenge to Heterosexual Women Coaches and Athletes: Speak Up and Out - by Pat Griffin - November 9, 2010

Stereotypes haunt softball - October 11, 2010

Australian Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice makes an emotional public apology for her homophobic slur on Twitter - September 8, 2010

Gold medal winning diver Matthew Mitcham calls Stephanie Rice’s comments offensive but insists she is not homophobic – September 8, 2010

Homophobia will thrive in sports as long as hyper-masculinity prevails
Aug 31, 2010 - When Edmonton Capitals Manager Brent Bowers went on a homophobic tirade against a gay umpire, the sports world hardly took notice. It took the courage of the umpire's heterosexual colleagues to denounce Bowers's hate speech by threatening a league boycott before North American Golden Baseball League management took significant action and ultimately suspended Bowers for the remainder of the season. Bowers reportedly resigned, before being fired by Edmonton Capitals management.
This event stands in marked contrast to a recent U.K. survey, as reported in the Guardian on Aug. 8, which stated that eight out of 10 football fans (soccer to those of us in North America) thought an openly gay player would have a similarly positive impact as black players had on racism in football in the 1980s and 1990s. More...

California umpire gives clinic in Edmonton on diversity- August 24, 2010

Mark Tewksbury: Olympic chef with the right touch
Aug 5, 2010 - Tewksbury ’s authenticity makes him a great choice. He’s an athlete who used his heart to get him where nobody thought he had a chance to go — the top of an Olympic podium in the men’s 100-metre backstroke in 1992.
There will be many Canadian athletes in London in a very similar position to that of Tewksbury in Barcelona . They will be in the mix with medal potential, but they’ll be far from favourites. It often becomes a matter of self belief, something Tewksbury is extraordinarily gifted at helping instill. Read the Toronto Star story...

Olympic Memories more than just great sport performances by Ann Holmes
I have many wonderful Olympic memories from my week away from Prince George.
In the midst of speed skating medal performances, Canadian women's hockey
team triumphs, and curling wins, I went to the movies. My husband and I attended
a double screening put on by the Vancouver PRIDE house and CAAWS. Click here to download a PDF of the story

Olympian comes out New Zealander says gay-friendly Vancouver inspired him - May 21, 2010

May 17, 2010 International Day Against Homophobia - Lunch & Learn in Ottawa
CAAWS is honouring the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) with a themed Lunch and Learn event in Ottawa. This year's IDAHO theme Speaking about Silence: Homophobia in the Sports World reinforces the importance of the work of CAAWS and our partners in this area. more...

Female athletes perceived to be lesbians are at high risk for "corrective rape" in South Africa. See the video news story and accompanying written article at

Vancouver's Pride House offers safe haven for gay, lesbian athletes - February 20, 2010

Speaking at Pride House is historic, bittersweet moment for Tewksbury - February 19, 2010

A New Olympic Pride - February 17, 2010 -

We in sport are in the closet", former Olympian Marion Lay February 12, 2010

Vancouver’s Olympic Pride House opens - February 11, 2010

A closet of Olympic proportions: Why most gay athletes are still reluctant to come out - February 11, 2010

PRIDE House Film Series at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – January 27, 2010 read more

Historic PRIDE House to shine light on gay and HIV issues during Olympics – January 26, 2010 read more

Ex-Wales captain Gareth Thomas gay celebration patron – January 26, 2010

Pride House pavilion in Whistler an Olympic first – January 25, 2010

Gay activists praise rugby star Gareth Thomas's decision to come out - December 19, 2009

Politique contre l'homophobie - 12 décembre 2009

Quebec announces anti-homophobia policy - December 11, 2009

Former coach at Mesa wins Title IX-based suit - December 4, 2009

Woodstock girls hockey squad wins national award - December 1, 2009

What I Know Mark Tewksbury - November 27, 2009

Lesbian team attacked by fireworks - November 27, 2009

Film released to help tackle homophobia in schools - November 27, 2009

Throwing in the towel on homophobia - November 27, 2009

We know gay isn't really OK in hockey - November 27, 2009

'We love you, this won't change a thing' - November 27, 2009

Brian and Brendan Burke Discuss ESPN Article on TSN - November 25, 2009

Taboos softening in macho world - November 26, 2009

Homophobia in sport recognised - November 24, 2009

City Board of Ed passes policy regarding transgender athletes - November 22, 2009

No place for Johnson's anti-gay slurs - November 20, 2009

CAAWS presents Addressing Homophobia in Sport workshop at AthletesCAN forum - October 2, 2009

Ravens player 'interested in making a difference' - September 30, 2009

GLAD is researching the ways in which anti-gay and anti-transgender attitudes affect LGBT athletes and coaches. September 25, 2009

NB hockey team battles homophobia on the rink. September 18, 2009

PRIDE House Reveals 2010 Artwork in Preparation for the coming Games September 10, 2009 read more

Academic warns schools are not doing enough to tackle homophobic bullying
By Staff Writer September 10, 2009

Trade unions meet to tackle homophobia in sport
By Staff Writer September 10, 2009

2010 Olympic Games set to show some pride - September 7, 2009

Caster Semenya is a hero – but in South Africa being different can be deadly for a woman David Smith The Guardian, August 28 2009

There's nothing sporting about sex tests
David Zirin and Sherry Wolf August 28, 2009

Kick homophobia out of football August 18, 2009

Ruggers Against Homophobia in Sport August 18, 2009

Half of College Football Players Know a Gay Teammate
by Kilian Melloy August 17, 2009

Swimming for Scholarship by Yusef Najafi August 13, 2009

Homophobia in sport survey August 11, 2009

Thai Olympic medallist faces ban after posing in gay mag
August 4, 2009

Dutch Olympic champions promote gay tolerance in sport
August 1, 2009

Gay Whistler creates space for Olympians July 20, 2009

CAAWS Joins Fondation Émergence to mark International Day Against Homophobia May 15, 2009 read more

Cherry refuses to use the word 'pansification' April 9th, 2009

Gay rights group outraged by CBC's use of 'pansification' April 9th, 2009

Conference shines light on sexuality in sports By Stacey Shackford, March 20, 2009 read more

Australian gold medallist fears coming out is costing him endorsements for London 2012. 04/01/2009

Seeking Common Ground: Lesbians and Christians in Women’s Sports.
By Pat Griffin. Sunday, April 6, 2008

In Beijing Olympics, only 10 openly gay athletes By Jim Buzinski

Swimming Out in the Open; An interview with out swimmer Andrew Langenfeld.
By Pat Griffin

Young gay athletes find a place out on the field.
By David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2007

Remembering a role model By David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2007

'Dirty Little Secrets' Women’ in Women’s Sport.
By Elizabeth Redden, April 30, 2007

A silent dilemma haunts women's college recruitment.
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop October 23, 2005

Recruiting - Women's Sports Foundation Response to Negative Recruiting/Slander Based on Sexuality: The Foundation Position

Going Behind the Back. College Recruiters Raise Issue of Sexual Orientation.
By Greg Sandoval, January 24, 2003