Diversity in discrimination

Zoltán Faigl (Hungary)

Teresa Fernández (Sp.)

  • Q. In how many European countries is EGLSF active?
  • A. We have members in all European countries, including central and eastern countries (Poland Russia, Macedonia, Croatia… A list of our clubs is on our website.
  • Q.  Is there a visible discrimination of Gay and Lesbian persons in the different sports?
  • A. The list is long, but the situation is improving.
  • Q. Problems you come across in daily practice of sports.
  • A. Access to free sport facilities and infrastructures (recognition by municipalities and owners of sport centers in cities) Potential intolerance, physical threatening,…refusing to play the game.
  • Q. Serious anti-gay and lesbian social attitude?
  • A. This is an everyday battle, like for women’s rights. But we are appreciating changing attitudes and representations.
  • Q. Are you appreciating these changes in official sport or other Institutions?
  • A. Excepting some countries in the last few years (football FA in Germany and more recently in the UK which have specific programs, in France the same), the rest of  sport federations regularly ignore LGBT sport and  just spelling the words gay and lesbians is sometimes difficult, and people joke on it. In western European countries (France Germany,…), most LGBT sport clubs are also registered or member in their regular sport federation, which is a form of implicit recognition.
  • Q. Is there any hiding in team sports?
  • A. Most LGBT sport clubs are playing in regular tournaments, most of the name of the LGBT sport clubs do not have gay and lesbians in their name, but other regular teams might know that they are LGBT. In fact in many LGBT sport clubs there are heterosexual sportsmen or women.
  • Q;  Is there any hiding or open attitudes in individual sports?
  • A. Depending of the context and if you feel safe in regular tournaments, but usually you want to be recognized for your sport performance. In LGBT sport tournaments, the aim is to provide a safe environment where you can be yourself.
  • Q. Relationship of the EGLSF with sport federations.
  • A. No relationship at European level, because sport is organized at national level and is part of the competences of the European Commission only since the Treaty of Lisbon in 2006. No relationship or recognition by the European Olympic Committee.
  • Q. In general what’s the attitude towards EGLSF, and towards those who practice different sports?
  • A. People are usually surprised that we are existing, and not necessarily feel comfortable with this.
  • Q. In your opinion what’s the general social attitude towards this condition?
  • A. The general social attitude is positively changing, because LGBT sports are much more visible and we show that we are like everybody, we have the same right for respect.
  • Q. Positive changes in the last 10 years?
  • A. Much more positive attitude and larger awareness about this issue.

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