“There is nothing I love more than putting on football kit, boxing gloves, cricket uniform just playing sport. It quite literally drives me as an individual to succeed when my stress levels are at their worst. Sport, to me, is my ”safe space,” whether that’s a running track, a cricket pitch or a boxing ring, it gives me the ability to unwind, relax, and be free from the pressures of a daunting world.
“This is why it’s infuriating to see my peers using another person’s sexuality as a disgusting and unfair advantage to get the upper-hand.
“I’ve heard it all: “Get up you puff” “Stop being a faggot” “Fuck off you queer”. No doubt there are people reading this and reminiscing about the horrible jibes they’ve encountered playing a sport that they love. Their safe space, where they too can unwind, is being taken from them.
“The rewards of sport are endless, but receiving jabs about someone’s sexuality is hurtful, it eradicates the whole purpose of participating in sport, which is about unity, good sportsmanship and, most importantly, respect.
“It seems that people are of the impression that playing sport is a measurement of masculinity within society, and one must prove to be the most macho (which apparently also means most heterosexual) – when in reality it is about nothing but enjoyment – it’s a hobby; an interest.
“Having one’s sexuality used against them for another’s cruel advantage ruins the sportsmanship spirit in sport – demonising the whole thing.
“Sport should help people break down barriers, not create them! A happy ending needs to be written in this chapter of sport, so that no one plays in fear of their sexuality being used against them ever again.”
Photo credit: Harriet Evans
Photo editing: Harriet Evans