There’s a movement spreading in pro-hockey which is surprising, but refreshing. The You Can Play Project “is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.” Athletics is actually pretty good, I think, in terms of welcoming gay athletes. When I was in university, we had a gay guy on our team. He wasn’t out at the time, but everyone knew, and it was really not a big deal. When he did come out, after he left for grad school, nothing changed: he was still one of the boys. And that’s a big part of the message You Can Play is getting out there. They’ve got a ton of big-name NHLers making public statements, basically saying, “hey, if there’s a gay man playing in the NHL, and he wants to come out, we support him. We understand how hard it is, but we want to make it easier, and making these public statements of acceptance, pre-emptively, hopefully goes a long way to making it easier.”
At Montreal Endurance, we hope that any GLBT runner who wants to join our club would feel welcome doing so. In distance running, there’s a movement, the Frontrunners, who are an affiliation of GLBT clubs from around the world. It’s certainly not the same challenging environment as exists in pro-sports.
We might feel pretty good about the running community’s treatment of our GLBT competitors and teammates, but what does with out saying, they say, goes better when said. Make a statement and support acceptance and openness.