Roller Derby Provides a Model for Pro Sports in Accepting Openly Gay Men
One thing that may be keeping some gay male pro athletes in the closet is the persistent stereotype that gay men are inherently not as strong or as tough as straight men. Hanna, A. His teammate Ryan Fagala, aka Inquadable Hulk, said that playing derby with several openly gay men is no obstacle to team unity.
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Clary hopes that as more people become interested in derby, they will serve as role models for anyone struggling with self-acceptance or coming out. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.
When asked whether having openly gay men as teammates represented a "distraction" in the locker room or otherwise, a common argument from those who have voiced negative views about pro athletes coming out of the closet, several derby players said it was a "ridiculous" suggestion. Lohman notes that there are no male professional athletes in a team sport who are out, so there is still work to be done to reduce negative stigmas.
Andreone said that roller derby accepts anyone who wants to compete, regardless of race, sexual orientation or body type. In almost 15 years of professional sports, she has played for the Washington Freedom, the Philadelphia Independence, and the Boston Breakers.