Presentation Title

Queer Athlete: Understanding LGBTQ Athletes Improves Support fot the Community

Faculty Mentor

Michael Baker

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

40

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Sport acts as a major promoting factor of the dominating binary of gender and sex. The pervasive heteronormative assumption often dictates which sport group an athlete is to play, and even which behaviors are considered acceptable in the eye of the public. According to the narratives of gay men and lesbian women (Eng,2008), the broad sport arena acts as a place of exploration of potential romantic relationships. Being closeted and involved in a sport may mean that exploration of potential mates means testing the limitations of acceptable behaviors of team interaction. Furthermore, coming out threatens heteronormativity and is a particularly salient challenge for many individuals. Typically, the choice to come out is done to reduce the likelihood of being perceived negatively or otherwise stereotyped. Given that perceived support is integral to the coming out process (Beals, 2009), it is hypothesized that those with more support would be more likely to be out among their team. Support has been demonstrated to be positively related to performance in sports. Therefore, it is hypothesized that those who come out in more areas of their life, perform better than others who have not. It is expected that those who experience greater internalized homophobia would be less supported by the team or others, less likely to be out, and perceive lower performances in their sport. To test these hypotheses, participants are being recruited to respond to an online survey via an email sent to all NCAA athletes. Participants who identified their sex, gender, and sexuality are being asked about perceptions of support, the degree to which they have come out to their team, and their experiences with homophobia/transphobia. Studying this segment of the population improves understanding the community of athletes and works to alleviate the stigmatization and stereotype of being a queer athlete.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Queer Athlete: Understanding LGBTQ Athletes Improves Support fot the Community

40

Sport acts as a major promoting factor of the dominating binary of gender and sex. The pervasive heteronormative assumption often dictates which sport group an athlete is to play, and even which behaviors are considered acceptable in the eye of the public. According to the narratives of gay men and lesbian women (Eng,2008), the broad sport arena acts as a place of exploration of potential romantic relationships. Being closeted and involved in a sport may mean that exploration of potential mates means testing the limitations of acceptable behaviors of team interaction. Furthermore, coming out threatens heteronormativity and is a particularly salient challenge for many individuals. Typically, the choice to come out is done to reduce the likelihood of being perceived negatively or otherwise stereotyped. Given that perceived support is integral to the coming out process (Beals, 2009), it is hypothesized that those with more support would be more likely to be out among their team. Support has been demonstrated to be positively related to performance in sports. Therefore, it is hypothesized that those who come out in more areas of their life, perform better than others who have not. It is expected that those who experience greater internalized homophobia would be less supported by the team or others, less likely to be out, and perceive lower performances in their sport. To test these hypotheses, participants are being recruited to respond to an online survey via an email sent to all NCAA athletes. Participants who identified their sex, gender, and sexuality are being asked about perceptions of support, the degree to which they have come out to their team, and their experiences with homophobia/transphobia. Studying this segment of the population improves understanding the community of athletes and works to alleviate the stigmatization and stereotype of being a queer athlete.