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Queer Up Sports

Lewis Freese Is ‘Sports Illustrate d’s First Male Swim Search Finalist

Queer News Tonight is doing a story about the iconic and masculine straight male Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.  Full stop.  But let’s just say we are doing the story because of social activism.  Lewis Freese, the 21-year-old Minnesota native just became the publication’s first-ever male finalist for their iconic Swim Search. He told People, the magazine has been a forward-thinking voice on the issues of diversity and inclusivity, and that he fully intends to use the platform to continue the conversation while also serving as a visible inspiration to others. Freese said  “Being that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has always led the conversation of inclusion and diversity, I thought why not bring this discussion to the brand?” The irony of modeling what Freese called “one of the most binary forms of clothing” to tackle the issues of gender and identity was not lost on him. Freese is one of 15 finalists, six of whom will appear in the issue. He is the only male. Freese said “I really hope it becomes more clear each year that SI Swimsuit is truly a brand that cares about representation, caring so deeply about the issue you can hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes.” Everyone at Queer News Tonight cheers Sports Illustrated and their decisions for diversity and inclusivity, casting the first lesbian, Megan Rapinoe, first trans woman, Balentina Sampaio, and first black trans woman Leyna Bloom. We think it’s time to consider a non binary gay person.

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Queer Up Sports

You have to watch this Amazon Prime film about the world’s first gay rugby club

Masculine, Sportsmen were called Pooftas, Faggots, and Worse. Those are the haunting words that begin an inspiring and trailblazing film that follows Australia’s King’s Cross Steelers as they compete against 60 other LGBT+ Rugby clubs across the world. After debuting at a number of film festivals it will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting April 16. Director and former Steelers player Eammon Ashon-Atkinson who wrote, filmed, edited and narrated the Amazon Prime feature said “This story isn’t just for rugby fans, or even gay people. It’s a story for anyone who has felt like they don’t belong or isn’t living the life they want to be living.

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Queer Up Sports

This ad airing during the NCAA tournament names & shames lawmakers pushing anti-trans laws

March Madness Has An Entire New Meaning.  Can Trans People Play Basketball In The NCAA Basketball Tournament?  Not If More Than 20 Republican State Legislatures Have Their Way.  It Why The Human Rights Campaign Has Begun Airing A Commercial Calling Out The Slew Of State Lawmakers And Republican Governors For Their Push To Enact Anti-Trans Legislation This Year. The Ad Made Its Television Debut, Airing During The NCAA March Madness Tournament Game Between Oral Roberts University — A College With An Anti-LGBTQ History Of Its Own — And The University Of Arkansas. The Version That Aired Specifically Focused On Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), Who Just Signed Two Laws That Could Harm Trans People, And Is Poised To Have Another One Delivered To His Desk From The State Legislature. The Message Is Ironic. The Message Is Powerful.

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Queer Up Sports

PGA Goes Naked In “Gayest Place On Planet Earth”… Kinda

On Friday at The Honda Classic, Wesley Bryan’s tee ball landed on the edge of the water that runs along the entire left side of the par-4 6th hole. He had two options. Take a drop and try to get to par. But still miss the cut by a mile. Or strip down to your underwear and watch his shot go viral over the weekend around the world.  You probably can guess what he chose.  And he was three players over the weekend at the PGA tournament in South Florida.  I guess we prove, even if you are straight, this is the gayest place on planet earth.

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Queer Up Sports

Florida Panthers to Celebrate Pride Day at Saturday’s Game

One of the teams with the best record in the National Hockey League, the Florida Panthers, will honor members of South Florida’s LGBTQ community during Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators. The Panthers will celebrate their annual Pride Day game, with faceoff set for 2 p.m. Throughout the game, the Panthers will honor Dr. Shelly Slapion-Foote from the YES Institute as their “Territory Teammate”. Slapion-Foote is an active volunteer as a clinical therapist volunteer and is front-line support to many gay and transgender youth during the pandemic with counseling services provided virtually. In February 2020, the Panthers honored YES Institute as a Community Champion and awarded them a $25,000 grant for their work in our community. Florida will also honor Umut Dursun as part of the club’s “Heroes Among Us” program. A former U.S. Marine in Miami who transitioned from female to male after his service, Dursun currently works as the Executive Director of Education for YES Institute. A soloist from the South Florida Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the national anthem and the team will sell special Pride hats in their team shop at the BB&T Center and online.

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Queer Up Sports

500 athletes take a stand against transphobic legislations in letter to NCAA

Over 500 students across 85 schools are taking a stand against the numerous anti-trans bills in an inspiring letter to the NCAA. And the number is growing. Washington University students Aliya Schenck and Alana Bojar have spearheaded the LGBTQ+ sporting movement. The letter said “We, the undersigned NCAA student-athletes, are extremely frustrated and disappointed by the lack of action taken by the NCAA to recognize the dangers of hosting events in states that create a hostile environment for student-athletes. You have been silent in the face of hateful legislation in states that are slated to host championships, even though those states are close to passing anti-transgender legislation.” The NCAA has sent out a press release that they support Trans Rights of their member institutions and athletes.  A clash is coming between the NCAA and states that pass anti-LGBTQ laws.

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Queer Up Sports

Michael Gunning, the first openly Black gay man to swim for Team Jamaica, Opens up about Childhood Bullying

(Watch) Michael Gunning said he feels lucky to have only experienced a “little” discrimination on his way to the top. He came out as gay after being cast on The Bi Life in 2018, by which time he had already switched sporting allegiances from Britain to Jamaica, his father’s homeland. During his school years he recounted a time in science class when a group of boys threw acid at him, and another time when he was preparing to practice he was asked 'don't black people sink?' People can be cruel, but Queer News Tonight is rooting hard for Gunning's success. 

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Queer Up Sports

RFU clears trans women to play women’s rugby at all levels in England

(Watch) The Rugby Football Union decided that more evidence was needed before implementing any ban after World Rugby issued a ruling to ban them last week from international competition. The RFU said in a statement that while it welcomed World Rugby’s work on this “complex subject which invokes many strong opinions” the organization did not support all the global governing body’s conclusions.

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Queer Up Sports

NFL stars deliver message directly to closeted teammates

(Watch) Professional football has long maintained a culture of homophobia that discourages gay and bisexual players from ever considering coming out. A new video produced by the National Football League and released on Sunday for National Coming Out Day aims to change that. The ad, which was aired during FOX sports broadcasts, features retired and bisexual players and current straight stars speaking directly to closeted ones. There has never been anyone who has been publicly out as gay or bisexual while playing in the NFL, though several have come out after they retired.

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Queer Up Sports

90,000 expected to attend 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong

In a live online webinar broadcast from Hong Kong on Nov. 12, organizers of the 11th quadrennial Gay Games celebrated the start of a two-year countdown for the Nov. 12, 2022 opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Stadium for the world’s largest LGBTQ sports competition and arts andcultural event. Members of the Gay Games Hong Kong 2022 organizing team, which is an arm of the U.S.-based Federation of Gay Games, told the 79 people who joined the webinar from 29 countries that they expect 12,000 participants, 75,000 spectators, and 3,000 volunteers a total of at least 90,000 from 100 countries to take part in the Hong Kong Gay Games. They noted that 36 sporting events are planned, including traditional sports like soccer, wrestling, volleyball, and figure skating as well as sports more common in Asia such as dragon boat racing, dodgeball, eSports, and trail running. An outdoor Festival Village will be opened near the harbor in central Hong Kong that will showcase art and cultural events and exhibits as well as performing arts events including daily performances by bands, dance groups, and vocalists that have been associated with the Gay Games for many years, according to literature released by organizers. Members of the organizing team also pointed to what they consider an historic first. The location of the Gay Games in Hong Kong will mark the first time in its 40-year history that the quadrennial event will be held in Asia.