Scenario:It was Saturday evening and the skytrain was packed full. Sitting by myself, I overheard a gentleman, probably around my age, who was sitting just a seat away from me declare openly to his friends, in a very quiet yet very stoic manner, that he was homophobic. A look of uneasiness flooded the face of one friend while another nonchalantly knodded his head in agreement. I didn't do anything...I sat in silence wallowing in my own feelings of disappointment in not only myself, but for my fellow man.
In my mind I had this clever response:
'Sir, can you please sit over there? I wouldn't want to catch your disease'
but unfortunately thinking something is not the same as doing something.
So in effort to clear my conscience, I'd like to bring your attention to an amazing organization I came across over the weekend known as "Athlete Ally" founded by Hudson Taylor.
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization with the mission to "encourage all individuals (coaches, athletes, and parents) involved to respect every member of their communities, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and to lead others in doing the same."
This topic is especially important to me being in such a gender sensitive and stereotyped sport. Derogatory, racist, and homophobic/transphobic words have no place in dressing rooms, at schools, and in public settings; it is our responsibility to speak up so I encourage you to sign the pledge and take a stand with me. I hope by bringing my situation to light, I can encourage more to do what I didn't and to speak up; to share knowledge.
The creator of Athlete Ally, Hudson Taylor.
To learn more visit http://www.athleteally.org/ and sign the pledge!
You can also watch this inspiring short video: