I’m not sure what started the conversation, but he was good-looking, standing next to me for a fleeting moment in the billions that have fled past my weary lashes over the eons.
Blondie — we didn’t get around to the names bit — was about to start a course to eventually get into the university course of his dreams.
Was he openly gay at his private Christian school in rural Victoria? But of course, he was the golden boy of the school, starring in all sorts of sports, catching the eye of the leadership team and his peers who nominated him to be school captain.
He should never have made it because the ever-so-pious principal held the casting vote. Not a problem though — she didn’t know or understand what gay was or meant.
Ah, the glories of delusional denial, where issues of concern are put into a ‘to be processed when one feels the urge to challenge one’s personal belief systems’ basket. Read: ‘Finish third vodka, lime and soda after marriage breakdown, and review past 40 years.’ My mother has it, and the churches of our wide land are overflowing with those possessing this unique skill.
The glitter ball juxtaposition by comparison achieves an open and honest outcome; and Gen Y is all the better for it.
Young people growing up in contemporary Australian society are being taught acceptance and equality; where parents refuse to openly discuss and face facts, teachers, coaches and peer role models are stepping in to do their job for them. Hiding, fear, hatred and misunderstanding are being replaced by, ‘It’s your life, enjoy it!’ It deserves a little of our time, as it is a goal worth recognising and acknowledging.
Legal issues have been fought by lawyers; rights campaigned for by all levels of our community. In sport, the coming out of several major Aussie sports heroes has dramatically impacted on the lives of supporters and players alike. Many organisations provide regular education and training for players in vilification, on- and off-field behaviour, and their role in society as models for their peers.
Being a good sportsperson has nothing to do with one’s sexuality. Those who are able to rise above the drudgery of bigotry and the pall of uninformed and uneducated babble are standing up and being counted.
Many sports stars who have added their names to the photo list of people against homophobia are stars because they are friends of people who are gay or straight, and have played alongside them in many games.
In the battle, shining armour dims with use. It is after the fight that the true heart and soul of the wearer may be seen.
Sport is the pride of Australian society. Participation is for everyone at Team Sydney member clubs. Find us at www.teamsydney.org.au

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