Captains Alice Kell and Madeline Bracquemond
create a firestorm
by kissing at the end of France's 2-1 victory over England in 1921.
Public displays of same-sex affection continue to trigger controversy.
Progress in U.S., but Sports Stadium Homophobia Persists (Vavel, Brazil)
aren't bubbles within a city. Nothing that happens on the inside is
disconnected from the logic that leads and guides the lives of people on the
outside. The person that sits there and yells that such-and-such player is a
faggot, that the opponent is a fag, and who abhors being called a faggot
himself, is not likely a guy who will defend LGTB
rights and think about the violence to which minorities are subjected when he
leaves." – Founders of Gay Rights in
Football Group Bambi Tricolor
After the mass
response on social networks regarding the legalization of gay marriage in the
United States, the question remains: what about football? Will there be any
repercussions on the sport?
On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage
between two people of the same sex, as this is permitted under the U.S.
Constitution. "This decision affirms what millions of Americans already
believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free," said
U.S. President Barack Obama after the announcement.
Already in May, in the world of football, "Comisa 12 [Jersey
12]," organized supporters of the Corinthians, one of Brazil's most
popular football clubs, was ordered by the Department of Justice and Defense of
Citizenship São Paulo to
pay a fine of 20,000 reals [$6,400] due to
homophobic acts carried out in 2013 against then-Corinthian forward Emerson
Sheik, after he posted a photo on social networks in which he kissed a male friend.
More recently, in the last decisive match of the Libertadores Cup group phase at Morumbi
Stadium between São Paulo and the Corinthians, when that same Emerson Sheik was
expelled after a penalty against defender Rafael Tolói,
he heard screams of "kisser!" coming from the stands from the São
Paulo side. During the same match, one also heard yells of "fag!" whenever
rival goalie Cássio blocked a shot on goal.
Actions like these only go to show that despite progress,
our society still lives with one foot in the past.
"Stadiums aren't bubbles within a city. Nothing that
happens on the inside is disconnected from the logic that leads and guides the
lives of people on the outside. The person that sits there and yells that
such-and-such player is a faggot, that the opponent is a fag, and who abhors
being called a faggot himself, is not likely a guy who will defend LGTB rights and think about the violence to which
minorities are subjected when he leaves," say the founders of one of the
most important organized group of gay supporters in Brazil, Bambi Tricolor.
Gay Marriage: Seventy Years from Disease to Presidential Blessing (CenarioMT, Brazil)
Rights advocates in this realm have as a main objective
bringing awareness inside stadiums which continue to be occupied by a largely
"Culturally, stadium-goers worship virility, which
incites derogatory jargon such as curse words, for example. With performance
being the main point, I believe that in stadiums, what is most in evidence is
not sexual orientation, but gender identity. As a man, you can be a masculine person if you dress
as such, just as the appearance of women is prescribed," says a leader of PapãoLivre, a fan club for team Paysandu.
Thus, the public ends up inhibiting minorities that would
like to attend these spaces, due not just to fear, but to the frequent
discrimination they suffer.
"Machismo still persists, unfortunately. In soccer
there's a point at which all of this becomes abundantly clear: when fans feel
at liberty to belittle an opponent without realizing that they're using sexist
and homophobic devices. For example, we know that it's common for the calls of
football referees to compromise match results. When that happens, the crowd
backing one side might say: 'Are you complaining? Go see the woman at the
police station!' This shows that the tone of rivalry (which is normal in football)
is characterized by images in which the male is always dominant, and the loser
associated with a female figure," says the rabid fan of Paysandu.
Another example: I once saw a strong box with two little
pigs painted on it suggesting intercourse, the pigs baring
the colors of rival teams – one pig active and the other passive. Obviously
this is not to celebrate their relationship, but to say that the "active"
one is in a superior position and the "passive" one in the inferior
Peter H. Fry ably showed how much this relationship of active and passive
in Brazil, which comes out of the notion of the penetrating and dominant man
and the penetrated and dominated woman, also influences views about homosexual
The fact is that culturally, these are images that reflect how
much we continue to be rooted in a culture of machismo. Recently, Vasco da Gama President Eurico
Miranda declared that he tolerates gays, but not fags on Vasco! Well, he means
that yes - you can be gay, but don’t come out of the closet, don’t use make up
and be masculine, etc. And many gays worship "being a man"! And on
top of that, women’s football is still struggling for recognition.
"I am anxious to see the next version of FIFA Match [a videogame],
which for the first time will have women’s football. I think these are valid
measures to deconstruct this macho culture," says the PapãoLivre supporter.
Therefore, in order that in the future we can have stadiums
where there is greater tolerance, it's necessary that advocates gain space and
importance on the national scene. Such is the case with Galo Queer
[gay fans of Atlético-MG], a pioneer in this area in
Posted By Worldmeets.US
"After I began to study gender and feminism, it became
unbearable to go to the stadium and hear the entire crowd yelling sexist, homophobic
things. I thought it was important to break the silence around the issue so I
created the Galo Queer Web page. I never thought it
would be so accepted, but apparently the page gave vent to a pent-up demand,"
admits Nathalia Duarte, founder of the group of gay Atlético-MG supporters. "We hope one day to be able to
go to the stadium as queer supporters, but unfortunately today that is impossible.
But we have hope this will change. Just the fact that we've broken the taboo
surrounding discriminatory practices within football shows we've already taken
an important step toward building a just and egalitarian society."