Sport will be in the spotlight on International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) this Monday, May 17 and Victoria will mark the day with a ‘viral’ video campaign.

Anti-Violence Project Victoria convenor and IDAHO coordinator Greg Adkins said the theme ­— Speaking about Silence: Homophobia in Sport — was about encouraging the community to speak out against homophobia while participating in sport in their everyday lives.

“We want homophobia to be as unacceptable in sport as racism or sexism currently is,” he said.

“We also want this year’s campaign to provide a platform for non-sport experiences of homophobia to be aired and talked about so that homophobia and transphobia are challenged everywhere they exist in Victoria.”

Adkins said homophobia needed to be challenged in an arena where stereotypes of masculinity and femininity are deep-seated.

“In sports it is still acceptable to sledge players, coaches and officials using homophobic language and insinuation to intimidate,” Adkins told Southern Star.

“From kids sports to professionals, this problem exists from players and coaches on the field and in the change rooms to spectators jeering on the sidelines.”

Businesses, organisations and individuals are being called upon to take part in the campaign by sending a short video outlining their ‘game plan to tackle homophobia’ to the Stop Homophobia Today website.

Victoria Police and its Chief Commissioner Simon Overland have sent videos, with others expected to pour in during the week from around the state.

“Everyone needs a game plan,” Overland said on the video. “Our game plan in Victoria Police is to focus on prejudice-motivated crime, to engage with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group and people across Victoria to have them feel safe and working with Victoria Police.”

It’s understood the AFL will also take part in the video project as part of its inclusion and diversity anti-homophobia campaign.

Dannii Minogue is also understood to have contributed a video message for the event.

Activities leading up to and on the day include a Say No to Homophobia photo shoot in Bendigo, a live broadcast on May 17 by JOY94.9 with a range of guests, and activities from queer youth groups across the state.

info: Visit http://StopHomophobiaToday.com

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