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Michael Sam and Other Athlete Allies Seek An End to Homophobia in Sports With New Survey: VIDEO

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A number of prominent gay athletes and allies from around the world, including the NFL's Michael Sam, have joined together in calling for people to take the 'Out on the Fields' survey: a first-of-its-kind international study on homophobia in sports.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 9.10.44 AMThe study, commissioned by organizers of The Bingham Cup, the world cup of gay rugby, and conducted by universities such as Penn State and the University of Massachusetts, is the largest study ever done on the issue. The survey hopes to  better equip sporting organizations around the world to handle homophobia-related issues and is expected to release its results later this year.

Check out a video detailing the survey and featuring athletes who are sponsoring it, AFTER THE JUMP...

And to take the story yourself, visit www.outonthefields.com

Continue reading "Michael Sam and Other Athlete Allies Seek An End to Homophobia in Sports With New Survey: VIDEO" »


Obama Makes Surprise Video Appearance at Gay Games Opening Ceremony: WATCH

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The Gay Games 9 kicked off in Cleveland last night with thousands of people from all over the country and world gathering to take part in the LGBT-inclusive sporting event. 

The opening ceremony featured appearances by former Olympian Greg Louganis and singer Lance Bass - as well as a surprise message from President Obama via video.

Said Obama, in part:

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 7.19.39 AM"Even since 2006, when the Games were last held in the United States, in my hometown of Chicago, we've come a long way in our commitment to the equal rights of LGBT people here and around the world...I know some of you have come from places where it requires courage, even defiance, to come out - sometimes at great personal risk. You should know that the United States stands with you and for your human rights, just as our athletes stand with you in these Games."  

Check out Obama's full speech and video footage of the opening ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Gay Games will run until August 16. 

Continue reading "Obama Makes Surprise Video Appearance at Gay Games Opening Ceremony: WATCH" »


Tom Daley Wins Gold in Best Solo Dive at Commonwealth Games: VIDEO

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Tom Daley took home the gold medal in the men's 10-meter platform diving competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday.

Tweeted Daley:

Daley released a video of his preparation for the competition and reaction to medal win, which you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

Daley's boyfriend, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, also sent out a congratulatory message following the results:

 

 

MitchamOpenly gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham also won gold at the Games in the 10-meter synchronized diving event, Outsports reports:

For Mitcham, winning the gold medal was an accomplishment since he had won six silvers in the event in the past few years. The Aussies beat the Brits by .18, an extremely close finish. Since there were only four teams competing in the final, no bronze medal was awarded.

You can head over to the Outsports article HERE to check out more photos from the competition.

Congrats guys!

Continue reading "Tom Daley Wins Gold in Best Solo Dive at Commonwealth Games: VIDEO" »


Female Indian Sprinter Fails 'Gender Test', Disqualified From Commonwealth Games

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand, representing India, was disqualified last month from the 2014 Commonwealth Games after failing a gender test, reports Bustle. The test showed that 18-year-old Chand’s testosterone levels were above the range considered “normal” for female athletes.

In 2012, Chand became the 100-meter sprint national champion in the under-18 division.

After winning two gold medals for India during the 16th Asian Junior Championship in June, Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials subjected Chand to the test which ultimately ruled her ineligible to represent the country this month in Glasgow.

Chand said that she is "completely shattered" by the result.

In a press release, SAI said:

“Preliminary investigations indicate that the athlete is not fit for participation in a female event due to female hyperandrogenism. The athlete will still be able to compete in the female category in future if she takes proper medical help and lowers her androgen level to the specified range. We reiterate that these test results do not determine her gender. The test simply tells us that she has excess androgen in her body and is therefore not eligible to compete in the female category.”

Hyperandrogenism, a medical condition in which an excessive amount of testosterone is produced by the body, is often the result of polycystic ovary syndrome and cal also manifest as a result of hyperactive adrenal glands or as the result of an intersex condition.

Bustle notes that although setting standards in sport is designed to eliminate “unfair” advantage, Chand is a woman who happens to naturally produce more testosterone than the average woman:

“If we are to believe that the advantages brought on by Chand’s naturally-produced hormones should be reason enough to disqualify her from competing against other women, where does this stop? If a women’s basketball player happens to be six inches taller than an arbitrary range of acceptable heights, should she be sent to play against men? Yes, that basketball player may be an outlier, and yes, Chand’s testosterone levels may make her an outlier, but isn’t that what professional athletes are? Isn’t that what makes watching sports so entertaining in the first place? The world’s greatest athletes aren’t average; they are outliers.

“It’s unfortunate that Chand, whose body chemistry may predispose her to athletic success, will need to take medication to curb her own gifts, and to return her to the 'normal' range. It’s unfortunate that in today’s world we have yet to realize that normal is subjective; that neither women nor men fall neatly into these arbitrarily-defined boxes of acceptable.

Writes Kalpana Sharma in The Hindu:

Our sport authorities need to be educated. Urgently. They need a crash course in understanding human biology, that there is no clear binary between male and female and that there are many conditions in-between.  But clearly, this knowledge, that has now become fairly commonplace, has failed to trickle down to those controlling Indian athletics.  They continue to believe that testing testosterone levels will conclusively establish whether a woman athlete is indeed a woman!

 So even as women athletes are bringing home medals from the Commonwealth Games, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Athletics Federation if India (AFI) will be better remembered for denying, virtually at the last minute, the chance for one of our most promising runners to compete in these games in Glasgow.


Zambia VP: Decriminalization Of Homosexuality 'An Unreasonable Expectation'

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Zambia Vice President Dr. Guy Scott has said that it is “not right” for the UK to expect his country to decriminalize homosexuality, reports STV.

Speaking at the Glasgow 2015 Commonwealth Games, Scott, who was born in Zambia to Scottish parents, said:

“Scotland introduced gay marriage last week so therefore Zambia must suddenly - you weren’t complaining about it two weeks ago – it’s not right. It’s an unreasonable expectation.”

Scott went on to say that Zambia is more interested in eradicating poverty and disease and improving the country’s education system.

Sexual relations between men in Zambia are punishable with up to 14 years in prison

Last September, Zambian activist Paul Kasonkomonawho was arrested after speaking out against the criminalization of homosexuality, was been ordered to face trial under the nation's penal code.

New research revealed last week shows that of the 80 countries worldwide that still criminalize homosexuality, more than half belong to the Commonwealth and that 42 of 53 Commonwealth countries continue to criminalise homosexuality, posing a serious threat to the LGBTI community.  


Gay Diver Tom Daley Discusses Coming Out, 'Demon Dive' With BBC

Right now, openly gay diver Tom Daley is competing in the 20th annual Commonwealth Games — the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland. So the BBC caught up with him to ask about his coming out and preparation for the games.

DaleyOn coming out, Daley predictably said:

“The public support has been overwhelming. Everyone's been so nice." It is also, he adds, a "massive weight" off his shoulders.

"Right now, all I concentrate on is diving," he says. "I don't have any other worries. I'm happy with life, I'm happy with diving."

But less known is the the fact that Daley has been plagued with performance anxiety over a “demon dive” that nearly derailed his medalling at the 2012 London games:

Known as the 'back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists from the pike position', the dive involves Daley somersaulting backwards while twisting his body around, his head spinning just inches from the board he left a split-second earlier…

The first of his six dives in the Olympic 10m platform final, Daley's rhythm was disturbed when a camera flashlight went off in the arena…

Daley has just 1.8 seconds to complete each dive before he hits the water 10 metres below at 34mph.

He was allowed to retake it and achieved a respectable score, good enough for him to get on the podium at his home Games.

But from that day on, the dive was an issue.

At various stages over the last two years, he has used words and phrases like "phobia" and "trauma therapy" to describe his state of mind whenever he tries to perform it.

He has even enlisted the help of psychologist to address the issue. But, two years on, he still does not feel 100% comfortable with it.

In April, the dive misfired again and he missed out on a medal at a World Series event in London, in the very pool where the problems began…

The article also contains Daley’s reply to those who claim that he spends too much time on his reality TV show appearances ("If I spent my whole life worrying about what people thought, I wouldn't be a diver and I wouldn't be where I am today.”) as well as this interesting homo-sports nugget:

Daley is likely to face a major challenge from Australia's Matthew Mitchum, who won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, when they compete in the 10m platform in Glasgow later this week.


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