- The Fast And The Fabulous: Gay Couple Enjoys Ride Of Their Lives On Their Own Private Speedway
- Kiss & Tell: These Photos Of Same Love Speak A Thousand Words
- PHOTOS: Miss Fame And The New Crop Of Ru Girls Live It Up At The Diamond Horseshoe
- The Love That Never Stops Speaking Its Name
- Take A “Looking” Tour Of San Francisco With Seven Hotspots
- These Photos Of Same-Sex Love Show Why We Are Changing The World Every Day
- Kiss & Tell: Show Us Your Love Pics And Win A Trip To San Francisco
- PHOTOS: It’s All Leather And Fur For These Fashion Week Models
- We Love The Nightlife! Shake Your Groove Thing And Party Like A Rock Star in L.A.
- GayCities Kiss Photo Contest: Hit It, Submit It & Win A Trip To San Francisco
- Don’t Miss These Unique, Off-The-Beaten-Path Gems of Los Angeles
- Paradise Found: San Francisco May Be Getting Its Very Own Leather-Themed Park
- It’s A Sunshine Day! Here Are Some Of Our Favorite Ways To Enjoy The Los Angeles Outdoors
- Ten Kisses That Changed The World
- George Takei Is Heading To Broadway
Search the blog
POPULAR TAGSNew York Chicago Las Vegas travel Fire Island New York City Photos Theater GayCities Jeffrey James Keyes Marriage Equality Washington DC London Los Angeles benefit haus Pride pride haus San Francisco party haus Miami
PHOTOS: Australian Football Players Lead Pride Parade In Melbourne
Feb 05, 2013
On Sunday, professional Australian Football League players lead the 18th annual Pride March Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Richmond midfielder Dan Jackson and Carlton midfielder Brock McLean, the first AFL players to participate in a Pride parade, joined openly gay pro Jason Ball, his teammates from Yarra Glen and thousands of others down St. Kilda’s Fitzroy Street.
The guys weren’t just being supportive mates, either: McLean has discussed his sister’s difficult coming-out process and was joined by her in the procession. Jackson works with the youth mental-health advocacy group headspace, where he learned of the high risks for suicide and depression faced by LGBT kids. ”People need to be able to be proud of who they are,” said Jackson. “If, by [us] marching, people who are gay feel a bit more supported by us as individuals and as footballers, then that’s a good achievement.
Mclean believes there’s no denying there’s homophobia in the sport. “The AFl and players have been so quiet on this issue for so long, they’re sort of pretending like it’s not there,” he told the Herald Sun. “But there is an issue there.”
Australian football, like its American cousin, has seen both positive and negative actions regarding anti-gay bias: In 2010, AFL player Jason Akermani wrote an op-ed saying it’d be best for gay players to stay in the closet because the league just isn’t ready for homosexuals. Last year, player Stephen Milne called another team’s player a “fucking homo,” and received a slap on the hand.
But partly as a response, the league launched “No to Homophobia,” a major campaign that aired videos during league finals. Ball, McLean and Jackson would like to see more—they’re calling for the AFL to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward homophobia, and to stage a special Pride round to show solidarity with the LGBT community.
“It would be great for the AFL to do more,” Ball said last fall when he launched a Change.org petition urging the AFL to ramp up its efforts. “They’ve done such great work with racial vilification and respect and responsibility for women. So if they could fit in the gay movement and anti-discrimination as a whole, I think that’d be great for the Australian community.”
Photos: Pride March Victoria