LGBT+ Inclusive Sports Teams at WY

Kyla Hubbard

Society has started to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community, and give them the equality they deserve. Same-sex marriage was finally made legal in all 50 states on June 26, 2015. After years of discrimination and mistreatment, individuals who were members of the LGBTQ+ community were able to legally love who they want. This right and recognition of the community is very important to members. Whitney Young has a very present community of LGBTQ+ individuals who are able to be open about their sexuality and how they identify. Pride club creates a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students, and serves to discuss issues relating to the community where they can be heard and respected by their peers.

I talked to several students that are a part of the WY Girls Cross Country team, and are members of the LGBTQ+ community. They wished to remain anonymous, but they all informed me about what it is like on the team. One of them said that, “The coaches haven’t once given [them] a hard time about not changing in the girls locker room and they allow [them] to store [their] things in their offices during practice.” The coaches on the team seem to be fine with making accommodations for them to make sure they are comfortable. All of the runners who I talked to proclaimed that the coaches wouldn’t care at all if they were LGBTQ+. At the end of the day, it only matters how fast they can run.

Many LGBTQ+ members of various sports teams at WY recognize that the teams are set up in a cisgender and heteronormative way due to the history and development of those teams. This means that they are separated by biological sex without regard to individuals who may identify with the other sex, are transgender, or are gender neutral. This strict division may be very intimidating to non-binary or transgender individuals, because they aren’t sure of how to approach the situation. As a school that is respectful of every student’s race, culture, sexuality, and religion it is important for us to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community and care about their involvement in sports at this school. Everyone should be able to be involved in anything that they are passionate about and students and faculty should support their decision. This may start by communicating to the study body that all sports teams are receptive and open to LGBTQ+ members to join. It is already very difficult for members of the LGBTQ+ community to live in society, so they shouldn’t have to experience this hardship at a school that prides itself on being accepting of everyone.

Image from Google