Tackling homophobia in sport
Pro Sport Development (PSD), with support of the FARE Network, conducted a hybrid workshop on tackling homophobia in sport on 19 October 2021. With 40 participants in attendance, the workshop included people from the PSD teams in Delhi and Bhubaneswar, as well as PSD’s partners, including Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF) and Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA). The workshop aimed to develop a fundamental understanding on themes pertaining to LGBTQ+ issues to realize the importance of building awareness and sensitivity in sport. The interactive nature of the workshop allowed for a healthy exchange of ideas and thoughts, making it thought-provoking for the participants
One of the main themes covered in the workshop was tackling homophobia in today’s world, which continues to be a rampant problem, especially in the field of sport. The workshop pointed out how gender roles play a significant role in the perpetuation of homophobia in sport. The discussions also brought out how the dominant masculine perception of sport sets stringent expectations, often leading to exclusion of those who do not fit in.
In addition to this, important facts and terminology related to LGBTQ+ rights were highlighted, which helped in building awareness among the participants. Examples of homophobic attitudes and language used in sport were pointed out to make the participants mindful of their behaviours. The workshop was designed to be also include context specific information from India, to make the content relevant to the participants.
The workshop also included an activity that attempted to prepare the participants to become sensitive allies of the LGBTQ+ community in sport by focusing on the roles played by different stakeholders like parents, peers, coaches, sport federations and spectators.
The workshop acknowledged how building sensitivity and awareness towards the LGBTQ+ community in sport is a gradual process. However, it underscored the responsibility and onus that lies on us as individuals to unlearn the years of conditioning and work towards supporting the community.
Along with the workshop, a booklet has been prepared as a guiding document, with greater detail and information on the central themes. The booklet dives deep into the fundamentals and the issues pertaining to the LGBTQ+ rights, with an emphasis on homophobia in sport.