Thursday, Aug 22, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 34
The OutField: The G(Force) is with lacrosse
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
The OutField: The G(Force) is with lacrosse

by Dan Woog - SGN Contributing Writer

For years, ice hockey and lacrosse have been stereotyped as two of the sports least welcoming to Gay men. They're contact sports, played by insular groups: Canadians (hockey) and prep schoolers (lacrosse). Yes, stereotypes cut both ways.

For nearly a decade, GForce Sports has broken down hockey barriers. Its Gay team has beaten (OK, demolished) straight opponents. Its speakers have addressed sports audiences nationwide, and its Athlete Buddy System has given hope to young Gay hockey players.

Now it's doing the same with lacrosse.

GForce has formed an elite Gay lacrosse team. Drawing top players from around the country - some already out, others still in the process - the squad will compete in tournaments and do advocacy work off the field. Like its hockey counterpart, GForce lacrosse will use competition and education to smash stereotypes.

Andrew McIntosh leads the lacrosse charge. A former 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound captain at the State University of New York-Oneonta, he's recruited a stellar squad. Straight players have said they'd join, if needed.

McIntosh knows that his sport has not always had a great reputation. He quotes the Washington Post: lacrosse players have 'prehistoric views on human relationships, and are not sensitive to diversity.'

But, McIntosh says, 'when you look closely at the locker room, you see a brotherhood. It's a tight-knit community, with very powerful friendships built on trust.'

When he came out at Oneonta, his teammates were 'very supportive.' A few opponents apologized for having ever offended him.

His coming-out process was eased because, a year before, McIntosh heard head coach Dan Mahar chastise a player for calling a drill 'Gay.' Mahar said that language was 'inappropriate.'

Mahar reemphasized his support. McIntosh recounted his coach's words: 'If we had a roster of 30 players and 15 of them did not want to play on the team because I was Gay, he would tell them to leave the team.'

Brian Kitts is GForce's director of marketing and public relations. He roomed with lacrosse players at the University of Denver, then worked for the company that owned the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

He found lacrosse to be a very welcoming sport. 'None of our players has had any negative experiences,' he says. 'And in the NLL, I never heard any anti-Gay joking.'

Like McIntosh, Kitts believes the stereotype of a homophobic lacrosse culture is unfair. In fact, he would not call any sport 'anti-Gay.'

Kitts says, 'Any time you get a group of men together in a competitive situation, your social norms and innate competitiveness take over. Lacrosse is on an equal level with soccer, football, anything else in terms of that. Which means we have a an equal opportunity with those other sports to do education and outreach.'

The aim, Kitts says, is to 'let players, fans and coaches know they've played with - and are playing with now - people who are Gay. And to let them know too, 'Why would you or anyone else care?'

Kitts adds, 'These are exceptional guys. Lacrosse players have big personalities to begin with. To be out, and a lacrosse athlete, is even more impressive. They're great players, and excellent speakers.

'If you can talk to kids when they're still playing sports, you can make a difference,' Kitts adds, referring to the speaking engagements GForce seeks out. 'It's important to let them know there are people just like them, if they're Gay - or not like them, if they're straight. Either way, they're still worthy opponents, and there's nothing to worry about.'

Kitts says that both audiences are vital. 'The work we do with LGBT youth is incredibly important. But reaching the hearts and minds of straight allies, fans, and support businesses is very important too.'

GForce is reaching out to high school and college athletic directors, coaches and players. This fall, when they play on the East Coast, they'll speak at prep schools, where lacrosse is a particularly hot sport.

It's a milieu that GForce team members know well. 'So many lacrosse players are well educated,' says Kitts. 'They're a fun group of athletes to work with. They're confident because they're great players. And by being out, they're very sure of themselves.'

Speaking at forums and in assemblies is one thing. A different kind of education comes when elite Gay lacrosse players beat their straight counterparts - and do it with a smile. 'Winning on the field is always more instructive than sitting people down to hear a lecture,' Kitts says.

For more information, visit www.GForceSports.org. Players interested in joining the lacrosse team should email amcintosh@gforcesports.org.

Dan Woog is a journalist, educator, soccer coach, Gay activist, and author of the 'Jocks' series of books on Gay male athletes. Visit his website at www.danwoog.com. He can be reached care of this publication or at OutField@qsyndicate.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Murder of Iowa teen will be investigated as a hate crime
------------------------------
Dance tax could close popular Seattle bars, clubs, and live venues
------------------------------
HIV30 group replaces vandalized & censored Capitol Hill art project
------------------------------
What comes after 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?
------------------------------
Kennewick School Board torpedoes GSAs - An editorial by a former Kennewick student
------------------------------
Jack Layton, Canadian politician and ally of LGBT community, dies
------------------------------
Emerald City MCC Seattle celebrates anniversary
------------------------------
The Gay agenda will see you now
------------------------------
Immigration judge grants motion to close deportation case
------------------------------
Seattle sports teams make 'It Gets Better' video
------------------------------
The OutField: The G(Force) is with lacrosse
------------------------------
Uganda's Cabinet drops 'Kill the Gays' bill
------------------------------
Indonesian police separate Lesbian couple
------------------------------
Acts of God shut down pope's anti-Gay sermon
------------------------------
Stuck in 19th century, GOP candidates debate evolution
------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News