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Breaking the Silence – 2013

This year marks the 16th annual Breaking the Silence conference at the University of Saskatchewan, and I am (again) proud to be a member of the board working very hard to bring it to you.  This year we are focusing on the idea of finding justice and equality on and off the playing field.

As we all know, the locker room has long been a place of dread for our youth, and that doesn’t always end with high school graduation.  Join us on March 22nd and 23rd and we attempt to throw open the doors, and let a little light, and some fresh air into those dark spaces.  Our topic this year?  Clearing it Out! Removing Homophobia from the Locker Room and Beyond.

You can learn a little more at our facebook event page or at our website!  Hope to see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/453413428064685/?

http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/

Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

 

…and yes, for those of you who specifically wrote on your evaluations that you’d have liked to have heard a little more from me during last years conference, this year I’ll be offering two sessions.  I do have to admit, I loved the one comment that was written in that simply stated that next year they’d like to see “More Tobi”.  😉

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A2Z – Jerseys & Jokes

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Jerseys & Jokes

 

Around here, sports are important…  especially hockey.  It’s a big part of Saskatchewan, and nowhere is that famous Prairie Machismo more apparent than in the locker room.  Or so I’ve been told.

Gay jokes run rampant, along with comments about the prissy nature of certain plays or players.  It’s a tough place to feel welcome as a member of the LGBTT2QIA community.  Any time your personhood is called into question, even if it’s done in jest (sometimes, especially so) it breaks you down.  After a while, it can all become too much.

In an effort to curtail this type of anti-gay banter and sentiment, Patrick Burke (in honor of his late brother, Brandon Burke) began a campaign we now know as “You Can Play”.  At it’s very heart all it states is that if you can play, you can play.  Nothing else matters.  It’s something we all needed to hear, and continue to have reinforced.

I encourage you to take a minute to read this article Burke wrote about his brother, the decision to come out, and how it affected all their lives.  It is well worth the read, every encouraging paragraph:  Never Forgotten, Patrick Burke Remembers his Pioneering Brother.

For more on You Can Play, check out these links:

So next time you’re about to make a joke about how gay someone or something is, stop and think.  Just because others do it, doesn’t make it okay.  In fact, it’s NOT okay – and people are finally starting to get it.  The locker room should be a place of camaraderie, of solidarity… not of exclusion and loathing.

 

 

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