Is Playing A Sport?

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Playing a sport is tough enough as it is, tasks such as training, potential for injuries, mental preparation and making sure the team reaches their full potential are all factors. Now, imagine not feeling like a part of that team due to the person you want to love. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a first-hand look into what being a gay athlete is like. My ex-teammate and friend Ryan Houchen, great athlete, even better person. Ryan himself is a homosexual athlete, he played hockey for Metro State as well as the University of Colorado Denver. He, as well as others, are observing that a growing number of gay athletes are emerging and as Ryan says, “Things are definitely on the up”. What he means by this is that it is becoming more…show more content…
These are shocking statistics, when asking Ryan about his comfort level with his team he said, “It was okay, I never felt physically threatened...”. He did say, however, that he did never feel quite like a part of the team due to his sexuality. Another aspect of homophobia affecting gays in sports is the homophobic slurs used in the locker room and on the field, granted, Ryan said that even in day to day life he never felt harmed or hurt by homophobic slurs. However, it is still a major problem in sports. 89 percent of homosexuals heard or felt targeted by homosexual slurs, according to the study. In my interview with Ryan I asked him if the culture of the locker room needed to be the first aspect to change, he said “Absolutely, sometimes it has to start from within a team and then that positive and encouraging attitude can go on to others.” Ryan was able to give me a sort of raw memory of a time where he truly felt his sexuality made him feel as if he wasn 't truly apart of the team. I asked him “Is there a specific time where you remember where you felt as if the team knew? Or made you feel secluded?” and Ryan was reluctant to talk in large details about it but he did eventually get it out “Yeah, one time with Metro State, I wasn 't playing and I could over hear some of the other three scratched players talking and laughing like idiots and I over heard one of them say 'Oh don 't worry bout

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