The princesses of power shine with the turn of the new decade. Miss Treated screams the headline act in the local gay press.

Her sister, the demure Miss Understood, flutters an eyelid at the passing trade. She’s had a hard life. “What, only one you say?” The sly one, Miss Demeanour, clutches pearls or any other dangly bits nearby, declaring in a voice that would shatter Stewart crystal, “Exercise? I can’t do that!”

Why do we bitch? Does being negative gloss over the hurt experienced by the aforementioned designer dream queens? Is there truth beneath each hurtful barb? Miss Take asks us all, “Am I setting my standards too low?” If a drag queen could remember the second half of the riddle this late in the night, she would of course fire back, “I didn’t know you had any!”

In 2009 some of the bastions of male homophobia, our national sports associations and clubs, have leapt into the 20th century in what has been a no-brainer in volleyball for the past 10 years.

The AFL and the NRL are to be lauded for their inclusion of gender or sexual preference in their vilification policies. Netball has for years developed a male, female and mixed competition. How gay is that?  Gymnastics and volleyball took very different approaches to achieve the same outcomes. Gymnastics has worked tirelessly with Departments of Sport and Recreation to establish membership protection policies, including harassment-free clubs, coaching and facilities.

Volleyball looked at the numbers, saw them decreasing, and asked Freezone to be an affiliated club. The state association has supported every endeavour undertaken by Freezone to ensure the club’s status as a legitimate force is recognised.

At dawn’s crack of the new decade, gay and lesbian sport can laud the change made by playing together in a non-threatening competitive environment. Young sportspeople who know nothing but their game are educated, and building bridges in contemporary Australian society. Play, participate, but most of all celebrate.

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