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Wayne State College – Sexual Diversity in Sports 9-23-13

Sexual Diversity in Sports

This presentation was given twice: Once on September 23 to collegiate athletes, coaches and administrators and the second time on September 26 to the campus and community at large. 

The objectives of the presentation were to describe why it is important to respect all sexual orientations and gender identities of all athletes; learn definitions for sexual orientation, transgender, and internalized homophobia; describe the consequences of homophobia on individuals and teams; identify ways to make teams inclusive and respectful for all athletes regardless of sexual orientation; and identify ways to make a safe and welcoming environment for all athletes regardless of gender identities.

Collegiate Athlete comments on how presentation impacted their knowledge: 

It was a good presentation and nice to listen to - especially going through similar things. I think it was beneficial for all types of athletes to hear. I can't change who I am. I can only hope that people realize that I am still the same human being as everyone else. I am in no way different. I am perfect the way I am and will never change just to please others. It's important to me because it's hard being different in a society focused on making sure everyone is the same. The heart wants what the heart wants and I am now perfectly okay with loving who I want to love - regardless of gender. -21 y/o F senior  

Orientation is not a choice. Never try to change a person's orientation. Never force someone out of the closet. -19 y/o F sophomore  

Good presentation on LGBT awareness. I learned to never force anyone to come out and that 10-13 y/o kids start to become aware of their sexual orientation.  -18 y/o F freshman  

Very good points about NCAA involvement. I learned all the different definitions and how to talk to an athlete that might be gay. -20 y/o F junior  

It's important to support your teammate and be accepting to them to make it easier for the LGBT teammate. This helps the team come together. -20 y/o F junior  

An ally is someone that can speak out in a time of discrimination and defend a teammate and/or friends. This presentation gave me a better perspective towards the gay and lesbian population. I am better informed on how to make a lesbian teammate feel more welcome. -20 y/o F junior  

This presentation made me realize there is a lot more behind the LGBT community then actually meets the eye. -20 y/o F junior  

Good presentation. Kids need to be aware of the derogatory comments that are used and they need to be stopped - be it by their peers, coach, or a stranger. -21 y/o F junior  

Support, understanding, and care is extremely important when having a LGBT teammate. Making sure that it's clear that there is a friend and support person that they can look to in need. If an athlete feels pressure or disapproval, it can render an athletes performance greatly. Always be open to what a LGBT person has to say, because resistance can have negative responses and lead to destructive behaviors. Talk to your teammates with an open mind. -19 y/o F sophomore

If someone wants to come out to you, feel honored because they can trust you. I have had gay teammates in the past and I will stand up for them and be their friends. I know people who have wanted to commit suicide over this and its hard to deal with. If someone is happy, let them be who they want to be. -20 y/o F sophomore  

The first thing you say to someone when they come out to you is key and very important. Being 'gay' doesn't define you. -18 y/o F sophomore  

I have more respect for peoples actions and decisions because we all are different. -18 y/o M freshman  

Very informative. Support and respect everybody no matter what. -18 y/o M freshman  

Hopefully this presentation will bring about more respect for the LGBT athletes. Especially playing softball - maybe people will be more sensitive to what they say and their stereotyping. -18 y/o F freshman  

Enlightening information. Though I, myself, am not a LGBT athlete, I have teammates who are. Learning information to better the relationship as teammates and friends is extremely helpful. -19 y/o F sophomore  

If someone were to open up to me about their sexuality, I will not label them in a negative way. LGBT individuals don't want to be treated any more different than heterosexuals. If you give them the respect they deserve, then both of you can be more comfortable and happy. -20 y/o M junior  

Be supportive of homosexuals and respect them. Don't make them uncomfortable about it - just talk with them. Being unsupportive and disrespectful to them can only hurt your team and that person. I support homosexuals even more now. Everyone is equal and should be respected. -18 y/o F freshman  

Great job making sure people understood that LGBT are just like everyone else. Everyone is the same and they need all the support they can get. It is an emotional ride and having the support would help them out. Don't judge them. -20 y/o F junior  

I learned ways to help discourage anti-gay slurs. This presentation gave me more ways to support the gay community. -19 y/o M sophomore  

It was a good presentation that was very enlightening on the subject of LGBT athletes, how to support them, and how to build a safe environment for them. It made me think about my future and possible children. It made me wonder as to how I could be the most supportive if one of my children came out. -18 y/o F sophomore  

I learned the difference between sexual orientation and behavior, how to support a teammate who is LGBT, and the trevor project. My sister was a closeted gay, so hearing about this helps me. -22 y/o F senior  

I now know how to talk to a teammate/friend if they want to come out and they need someone to talk to. -21 y/o F senior  

Extremely helpful presentation for people who don't know much about the topic. Taught me how to go about it with my teammates. -20 y/o F junior  

I already support LGBT, but after this it makes me want to encourage others to support them. They are exactly like everyone else. I will make sure that I open my heart to my teammates and respect them. I will support them no matter what. -20 y/o F junior

I want gays to be able to come out and feel safe speaking of their sexuality. I want everyone to be able to perform at their best and not have to worry about discrimination. People shouldn't have to hide who they really are. -18 y/o F freshman

I enjoyed every minute of this presentation. I will watch what I and what my teammates say. -18 y/o F freshman

I think that this presentation is very important for athletes! I think all teams should learn the importance of accepting their teammates. The most important thing I learned was how to make my teammates feel accepted. This presentation has impacted me to say something when someone's been disrespectful. -20 y/o F junior

Loved your presentation and really appreciate all you do. We must respect everyones orientation and be mindful of what we say. I learned so much. -18 y/o F freshman

Good learning experience. Learned not to make fun of gays. -19 y/o M freshman

Thought it was very informative and interesting presentation. It impacted me a lot. When you go from high school to college and have gay teammates your perspective changes and the way you say things. -19 y/o F sophomore

I thought it was an interesting presentation. Hearing the stories of the athletes was insightful. The presentation had a big impact. Having gay teammates in college athletics has changed my perspective since high school. This presentation gives a better understanding into someone's life who is gay. -21 y/o F senior

Great presentation filled with great information. Treat everyone with respect and accept teammates sexual orientation. This presentation has taught me to be open minded and accepting of sexual orientation no matter what it might be. Respect everyone. - 18 y/o F freshman

Very impressed. This has changed my perspective on homosexuality. There is a difference between sexual orientation and behavior. I've been impacted in a positive way. -20 y/o M junior

Very informative to all players and coaches on LGBT. Made me think about the way I use gay, fag, or any slurs towards people in my everyday talk and how it affects others around me. -20 y/o F senior

This presentation was very insightful and showed how being accepted of LGBT athletes should always happen. It's important to let those who are gay come out by themselves and don't push them. -18 y/o F freshman

This presentation opened my eyes to how big of a struggle LGBT athletes can have. I didn't realize this much discrimination went on and it showed how you need to be open minded and accepting. They're your teammates. -18 y/o F freshman

I learned to support my teammates or peers no matter what their sexuality is. I now know how to handle a situation if someone is coming out of the closet. -18 y/o M sophomore

Teamwork makes the dream work! Teamwork is more important than anything else. Respect (The Golden Rule). I'll try to support and help out my gay teammates and let them know I'm okay with it. -21 y/o F senior

Good presentation. Facts were all very real. Respect everyone no matter what. Teachers and leaders need to create positive environment - no negative words towards LGBT. I have to change how I lead my own teammates. -21 y/o M junior

Very good presentation! It was very informational and taught me a lot about LGBT rights/thoughts. It changed my viewpoint on how to treat everyone. This made me realize that people can't control their sexuality. We must respect everyone - whether they are like us or not. -18 y/o F freshman.

I'm out and my teammates accept me and don't care but they still say 'gay' a lot and now I know how to tell them not to say it. -19 y/o F sophomore

I need to let people know that I am someone they can talk to if they want to come out. I need to be more aware of issues in the team. -20 y/o F senior  

Teamwork is more important than anything. Respect everyone no matter their sexuality. Learned it affects homosexuals performance by being closeted and not coming out. I now have a different perspective and have more respect. It shouldn't matter what people are . We are all on a team! I will try and support my teammates who are homosexual. -20 y/o F junior

This presentation impacted me by changing my view point on how to treat/act around gay people. -18 y/o F freshman

This presentation made me realize even more that gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people should not be treated any different that straight people. -19 y/o M sophomore  

The most important thing about keeping a team that works well together is respecting everyone as a human being. What you say to someone who is coming out is very important to them. Be careful what you say. -22 y/o M senior  

Made me realize the consequences of making fun of someone for being gay. -19 y/o M freshman  

This presentation has just opened my eyes more to the struggle these people go through. I've always felt like it was wrong to discriminate for being different. -20 y/o M sophomore  

This presentation made me think of what I say before actually saying it. It gave me thoughts and perspectives for those who are gay. -19 y/o M sophomore  

Making jokes about gays can really affect someone. I will make sure to watch what I say around teammates. -18 y/o M freshman 

Student comments from campus at large on how presentation impacted their knowledge: 

This presentation has made me look at how I react towards LGBT in a whole new light. To respect people who are in the LGBT category. -22 y/o F senior  

I learned you need to respect everyone and don't force them to come out. My friend is a gay athlete and I now understand a little more about why she didn't choose to come out to everyone. -18 y/o F freshman

Teachers need to be educated on how to react when a student uses a gay slur. I need to stop using gay slurs. I never thought those words had much meaning but now I see how powerful and hurtful they can be. -21 y/o F elementary education

As a future teacher, this presentation opened my eyes toward the freedom and safety issues involved in the school systems. I would like to offer my classroom as a human safe zone where anyone can feel safe and have the opportunity to be open about anything. -21 y/o F senior 

I learned how to come out easier and be who I am. -18 y/o F freshman  

Watching this presentation will help me in my future. I will know how to better support people and let them know that I am there for them. We are all people and our sexuality shouldn't be such a big deal. -19 y/o F sophomore  

Becoming a teacher/coach you need to be aware of what you say and be supportive of your students/athletes. -20 y/o F junior  

When defining an ally, I realized I need to be more active in the community for LGBT. When people come out, they want others to treat them exactly the same. They are still the same person. -21 y/o F senior

This information will be very useful for me as a future teacher and possible coach. It has made me more aware of homosexuality and how to make students feel more comfortable. -20 y/o F junior  

Coaches/planners need to do a better job of supporting and addressing topics involving LGBT in sports. -20 y/o F sophomore  

I hope that I can now go out and support and help others that are LGBT and be an ally for them! -18 y/o F freshman  

This presentation definitely made me more aware - especially in sports with LGBT. I knew it was important, but never knew how deeply this could impact a whole team. -19 y/o F sophomore  

As a future teacher and possible coach I found the 'It Takes A Team' video to be inspiring and eye opening. I got to see multiple perspectives of how to make athletics a safe place for all. We can't pretend that this issue is not there and ignore it. That's very closed minded. Teammates are the basis of sports and without the respect of one another, how can you expect to work together and achieve the same goals. -23 y/o F senior

Thank you for doing these presentations every year. I have attended every year I was at Wayne State. It has helped me uncover things about myself and certain family members that I otherwise wouldn't have. I have motivation to fight harder. -23 y/o F graduate student

I will be more sensitive towards LGBT topics. If I ever have an LGBT acquaintance, I will let them know I'm always here for them and will stick up for them. I will get involved and as a teacher/coach/teammate, find out what the issues are. -20 y/o F junior  

It's okay to be gay in sports. Doesn't make you any less of an athlete. This presentation opened my eyes wider to gay people in sports. -21 y/o F junior

This presentation taught me to support LGBT, because they didn't choose that about themselves. All they want is support, so that's what I'm going to do. The presentation made me realize that that they are normal people and should be treated with respect and as real people. -18 y/o F freshman

This presentation will help me in the future so when I meet gay or bisexual people, I will accept them the way they are. I will not downgrade them for being gay. Gay and bisexual people should be supported and not be made fun of or downgraded because they can't change who they are. -20 y/o F sophomore  

As someone who is going into education I learned how important it is to let students know that I am never going to judge them and that they can come to be about anything and I will be there and support them. -31 y/o F graduate student  

I wish people were more accepting of others. I'm bisexual and it takes a lot of trust to tell people that. I want to get more involved to help spread respect to the LGBT community. -22 y/o F sophomore

I will be more understanding and accepting of my gay/bisexual friends. As a future teacher, I need to be aware of these issues and how to absolve them in my classroom or on my team. -22 y/o F senior  

A double life is no way to live. We should treat everyone with respect. Everyone is human and should be respected. Ignorance is the biggest problem. Knowledge and understanding stops prejudice and dislike. -23 y/o F senior  

This presentation has taught me more about treating people equally. It has also taught me not to be shocked when someone comes out of the closet. Just keep everything like it was. -21 y/o F senior  

Never force someone out because chances are they may not be ready! They will come out to you when they are ready. My younger brother and two of my cousins are homosexual. Listening to this presentation created a better understanding of different aspects and hurdles that they have to overcome and be faced with. -23 y/o F senior  

Everyone needs to be an ally. It has shown me to respect all sexual orientations. - 21 y/o F junior  

I learned how to be open to LGBT as a teacher and coach. It will make me more aware of this as a teacher and coach and know how to handle it. -29 y/o F educator  

This was a good presentation and should be given in high schools also. I believe it could make it easier for the student to come out. I learned to be respectful of everyone. Don't use degrading talk. It has opened my eyes to LGBT. -41 y/o F  

This presentation gives me a better understanding of how and what my sister is going through. -19 y/o F sophomore

Being a student athlete I am affected by this. I never know if a teammate will come out, but now I now how to react and be supportive.  -19 y/o M sophomore

I was able to learn a lot about what it is like to be a 'closeted' student athlete. Presentation demonstrated how important respect and support plays with this issue. -22 y/o M senior 

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