In recent weeks, the tragic suicides of a number of teenagers due to bullying has really raised public awareness of this vile and insidious behaviour. Bullying in any form is unacceptable – but those victims who suffer bullying because of their sexuality, get a double dose. Not only do their peers attack them, physically and mentally, but some sections of society – mostly religious – see nothing wrong with persecuting children because of their (sometimes only perceived) sexuality.
There’s a great story from the 2002 Winter Olympics – you may have heard of them? A wonderful skater by the name of Steven Bradbury won Australia’s first Winter gold medal when everybody else in his race was involved in a tumbling accident, leaving him to skate across the line in first place. At the time, he was referred to by some as the “Last Man Standing”.
I mention this story, Tony – may I call you Tony? – because there’s a little of the Steven Bradbury to your story, isn’t there? Continue Reading
The last couple of days in Melbourne and Sydney have opened up debate once again about homophobia both in sports and in politics and questions are flooding forth about just how ready we are as a society to fully accept people of all sexualities. Jason Akermanis, a footballer, wrote in his newspaper column, that gay players should stay closeted because coming out would make it a bit awkward for the straight players when they all got into the showers. Yes – that was his reasoning. As though the discomfort or otherwise of one group of players was more important than the rights of another group of players to live open and honest lives.