LGBT Bullying in Athletics Makes it Hard to Come Out

Cavan Sieczkowski, an associate editor at the Huffington Post, summarized a study done by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) about LGBT youth and athletics.

According to the research, “More than half of LGBT students who took a P.E. class were bullied or harassed during P.E. because of their sexual orientation (52.8%) or gender expression (50.9%).”

However, it applies to more than just secondary school athletics. While acceptance and support is increasing in the athletic community, such as the Ravens Linebacker Brenden Ayanbadejo in recent weeks, negative remarks from others are always present.

Even in the locker rooms at today’s universities, the words “gay” and “faggot” thrown around. Not only is it offensive, but it creates so much tension and more importantly, tension within one’s self. It’s already hard enough to come out of the closet, but this makes it harder.

Diane Anderson-Minshall reports on a study done by the University of Montreal that deals with the level of happiness between lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and heterosexual. The study shows that gay and bi men who were out “were less likely to be depressed than heterosexual men and had less physiological problems.”

There are health benefits when people come out, but people are less likely to come out if they feel threatened or harassed. That is the atmosphere that I get in the locker room.

While I’m mostly out, I still find it incredibly uncomfortable when I hear the negativity in the room. It makes it harder to make friends and meet people who are interested in working out and sports.

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