Reader ‘s opinion Is a homosexual athlete still taboo?

When talking about the possibility of gaining acceptance and getting in touch with other people, it would be important to specifically mention sexual and gender minorities, who are often left without them.

Finland Sami Itani, President of the Sports Federation, criticized the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and called for the cancellation of both the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Beijing Winter Games (HS Guest Pen 24.6.).

Itani concluded his otherwise deserving writing with the following statement: “Sport offers both participants and spectators a unique opportunity to gain acceptance and connect with other people regardless of socioeconomic background, party affiliation, age, ethnicity, language skills, education, appearance or disability, for example.”

However, Itan did not mention sexual orientation, which raises the question of whether the leadership of the Finnish Sports Confederation has not yet begun to understand how difficult it is for representatives of sexual and gender minorities to act openly on their own in sports circles.

The few homosexual athletes who have come out of the closet have usually dared to do so only after the end of their active career. Is it really not understood in what way this can affect an athlete’s self-esteem and even his performance?

Unlike representatives of sexual and gender minorities, representatives of several other groups mentioned by Itan do not have to – and often cannot even – conceal their true selves for fear of being discriminated against. Nor do I think that representatives of other groups have experienced as much discrimination, hate speech, contempt and even violence as these athletes.

Especially when it comes to the possibility of gaining acceptance and getting in touch with other people, it would be important to specifically mention the sexual and gender minorities, who in most cases are left without these.

Ulf Månsson

deputy judge, former Seta activist

Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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