CNN No Plural+: One foot in and one out of the court

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Time to change lanes.

He hardly slept thinking how tense that exam would be to go from the simple white belt to the blue belt. I’m talking about judo.

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Amazing – yes, I practiced for about three years.

I was sweating, just thinking about all those people staring at me on the mat, and me having to show skills I didn’t have.

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Each blow was carefully thought out, not to beat my opponent, but to not show any mannerisms that could generate homophobic jokes.

And the tension increased because I knew that my father, right next door, was rooting for me.

By the time the competition was over, I was exhausted from having worked hard to be someone I’m not.

I’m not here to criticize the sport, none of that. Quite the opposite, I’m here to ask that sport consider us and include us .

Have you ever stopped to think about the difficulties of LGBTQIA+ people in practicing any sport?

The LGBTQIA+ population, in general, has greater difficulty in accessing sports, especially group sports. This happens because they often do not feel embraced by these groups, sometimes even hostile, unfortunately, and because they do not feel adequate to carry out the sport”, explains the professor of endocrinology at the São Camilo Leonardo Alvares University Center.

Don’t feel like you belong in the group. Perhaps this is, in my humble opinion, one of the main points.

People look for equals to form groups. So that’s when you or I or anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community becomes most different.

If for me, a cis gay man, often referred to as the “standard”, it was difficult to feel a part… imagine for trans people.

We have several specific studies, in relation to sport, saying that there are several barriers for the trans population to be able to perform these physical activities. Among them, I often cite the inadequacy of clothing for the trans population, the difficulty of accessing bathrooms in these places, how they will be accepted in these environments and the acceptance by other athletes there.

Leonardo Alvares, professor of endocrinology at the São Camilo University Center

The non-acceptance by colleagues court is yes LGBTphobia.

A survey carried out by the company Nix Diversidade showed that 85% of the LGBTQIA+ population considers transphobia and homophobia one of the main problems in sport here in Brazil.

“If your parents don’t teach you to respect others, clearly whoever is a trans or LGBT person will suffer a lot of LGBTphobia within the school and will end up being hateful, angry about playing sports, because they are not included, because they are not accepted. by peers.” Who gives this testimony was precisely the one who faced and overcame prejudice on the court. I’m talking about Tifanny Abreu, athlete from Osasco and the first trans woman to join a professional women’s volleyball team in Brazil.

“We need to go to the bathroom, we need to drink water, eat and many times some people don’t want us to be there. That hurts. This makes many trans women not looking for sport, not looking for leisure, afraid of how they will be accepted. You being an LGBTQIA+ person is simply one person in the world, and it doesn’t change a thing for you to stay in the sport. Our intention is to score the goal, to score the point, to arrive first in the race”, , Tiffany account.

And there were a lot of points off the court as well. Tifanny played in men’s leagues until the age of 29, and after the transition, she returned to the championships and conquered this position of such representation within high-performance volleyball.

When we talk about health, it’s not about losing weight or gaining weight, but about practicing sport. You will activate your internal games to work better, heart, lungs. When this opportunity is taken away from you as a child, it mainly happens with fatphobia, because they are taken from the sport, as well as our LGBTQIA+, because of a prejudice, that they would not be able to do it. And all bodies are capable

Tifanny Abreu, professional volleyball player

Yes, our bodies are capable. It just needs to have space for us.

But we, from the LGBTQIA+ community, are so strong that, if there’s no place, we create one.

I present to you a 100% LGBTQIA+ handball team: the fairies .

“We have bisexuals, lesbians and gays so far. Have you trained with us? [pessoas] trans. The allies, for example, have already been invited and can train with us, but at the moment all monthly members are LGBTQIA+”. Samuel Prado is one of the team’s athletes which currently has 25 players and is already recognized by the Paulista Federation and the Brazilian Handball Confederation.

Unfortunately, there has to be an inclusive team. But then people can say ‘ah, but there are gays on my team and they play’. And that’s okay. But does he feel good there or does he have to hide a little bit of who he is? Does he need to adapt a little or does he miss out on some small talk? This is the point. When I say ‘unfortunately’, it’s because we had to get together to feel more comfortable being who we are 100%

Samuel Prado, Fairy Handball athlete

I make Samuel’s words mine as well: unfortunately, we still need to part ways to protect ourselves.

But until when? Sport has to be that moment of relaxation, where you meet your friend, talk about life, share dreams and desires.

But how? If machismo and homophobia are so ingrained, that the simple fact of not playing football already puts you in a place of exclusion in front of other boys.

“You have to hide. If someone asks how your weekend was, you can’t say that you met a nice boy, as all the boys would say ‘ah, I stayed with the girl’. You don’t have that kind of freedom in the environment, either on the team or anywhere else.”

Samuel Prado, Fairy Handball athlete

We look at sport as we look at companies, we will need clear policies to expand diversity.

Because, in the end, it all comes down to freedom to be what you are.

  • Production: Letícia Brito, Carol Raciunas and Talita Amaral

Source: CNN Brasil

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