Reprinted from GayTimes Blog
“…men in their underwear, cuddling angrily…”
Scotland’s first openly gay wrestler Christopher Saynt has joined forces with LGBT students last week in addressing major concerns about LGBT participants in the sport.
Taking place at the National Union of Students [NUS[ Scotland LGBT Conference on 10 April, it was found that young gay people find taking part in sport “intimidating” and “discriminatory” because of negative associated stereotypes.
A report, found by the NUS, found that homophobia still prevents many LGBT students from getting actively involved in sports activities, with only a third of students participating in organised team sport.
Lani Baird, NUS Scotland LGBT Officer, said: “So many young LGBTQI people still don’t feel like sports is for them. it’s great to see someone like Christopher Saynt challenge the negative stereotypes and assumptions that are still attached to sport, wrestling in particular.”
Christopher Saynt is going against the stereotype that has been attached to sports culture in Scotland and the rest of the UK. At the conference, he spoke of his own experiences in coming out to the sporting world….
“I can’t pretend it was easy coming out as gay to the wrestling community, and I worried about whether I’d be accepted by fans and fellow my colleagues have been really supportive, some people have struggled to accept my sexuality.” Christopher has also received hate mail and negative responses, but he does not want that to deter wannabe sportsmen.
“When it comes down to it – wrestling is a bunch of men in their underwear, cuddling angrily. It would be hugely hypocritical to have homophobia within our sport. We need to stop judging others on outdated stereotypes. As a proud and openly gay wrestler – I hope I can play a big part in that.”
Words Rebecca Peel, @BeccaPeel