Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jocks Pose for Photos to Fight Homophobia

Wouldn't It Be Cool If Venango County Started Such A Campaign?

If Local Leaders And Everyday People Throughout The Oil Region Got Involved In Making Sure That All People Felt Welcome and Respected In Our Communities, Schools, Churches, Businesses, Etc.?

Hopefully Someday ...

from The Advocate:

The high-profile muscled jocks of Australia’s national rugby team, the Qantas Wallabies, have joined forces with the country’s largest LGBT-focused health and HIV/AIDS organization for a campaign to fight discrimination against LGBT people.

Team captain Stirling Mortlock and other players were photographed holding handwritten signs championing inclusiveness in sports as part of the This Is Oz campaign, an online photo blog where users can upload photos of themselves with messages that challenge homophobia and celebrate diversity and social inclusion.

"Having the Wallabies and the Australian Rugby Union demonstrating their support for social inclusion for GLBT people will hopefully increase visibility for the campaign [and] help change attitudes amongst some rugby supporters who might otherwise think it's OK to be antigay," AIDS Council of New South Wales CEO Stevie Clayton said in a media release. "[It] sends a message to young GLBT people that there is a place for them in a rugby union."

The Wallabies also showed solidarity with gay rugby team the Sydney Convicts by posing with players in photos for the project. The Convicts, founded in 2004 as Australia's first gay rugby team, are the current titleholders of the Bingham Cup, the International Gay Rugby Association's world championship.

"To have representatives of the national rugby union team taking a public and positive stance against homophobia speaks volumes to counter negative stereotypes,” Sydney Convicts president Charlie Winn said. “It also sends a message to the many young players that their role models at the professional level accept diversity and support our community."

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