Diverse sexual and gender identities in sport

Authored by: Kerrie Kauer , Vikki Krane

Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484633
eBook ISBN: 9780203851043
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966675


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Sport has long been described as having a homonegative climate: one that is disinviting and often hostile toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes and coaches (Griffin, 1998; Messner, 2002). Although there are signs that some sport environments are becoming open and comfortable (e.g., Kauer & Krane, 2006), it is probably safe to assume that many, if not most, sport environments are grounded in heteronormativity. That is, acknowledgment of sexual or gender identities other than heterosexual typically does not occur. Heteronormativity is the privileging of “normal” heterosexual identities and behaviors, with the concomitant assumption that everyone on the team must be heterosexual, and marginalization of other sexual and gender identities (Hall, 2003). When such assumptions permeate sport environments, intentionally or not, they send messages that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athletes are not welcome.

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