French Canadian anti-prejudice organisation Fondation Émergence last week launched its annual global campaign to fight homophobia in sport. The Speaking About Silence campaign will reach its highpoint on the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.

The campaign aims to address the sports world’s silence on everything related to sexual diversity, and to call on all those involved to speak up: educational institutions, professional and amateur sports organisations, sponsors, gay men and lesbians, sexual minorities, and public authorities.

This year’s campaign is based on images of one winter sport and one summer sport: hockey and soccer. Posters, pamphlets and other educational materials are available for free and on request, plus electronic versions are available in several languages from the Fondation Émergence website.

“Homophobia originates from a stereotypical image of what a man should be and of what a woman should be. In the sports world, masculinity and femininity can only be heterosexual,” Fondation Émergence organisers said in a statement announcing the campaign.

“However, boys who are gay and girls who are lesbians are also attracted to sports and wish to take part in them or make a career out of it. People entering athletic organisations know what rules to play by: being gay or lesbian needs to be tucked away into the closet and silence becomes master of the game.

“The sports world needs to join in society’s progress, put an end to the silence on LGBT issues, and get involved in the fight against homophobia.”

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