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Wednesday 20 August  
Linda Magazine, L'Homo edition: Sons of God
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sports personalities reveal all about homosexuality

Published on : 21 April 2011 - 7:59pm | By Gerhard Verduijn (Photo: © Linda)
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Around five percent of the population is homosexual. But different rules seem to apply to sport. There are very few well known sports personalities willing to openly admit they are gay. It seems the matter is still too sensitive.

A Dutch magazine has come up with an idea to make talking about homosexuality easier by using well-known sports people. L'HOMO is a special edition of Linda Magazine. It is the third time the gay glossy has been published. Scantily dressed sports personalities feature on the cover. They tell their story about homosexuality in the world of sport.

Sons of God
Under the title Sons of God, seven sportsmen bare their chests for a photo session. They are footballers Evgeniy Levchenko, Demy de Zeeuw, Kenneth Perez, Ronald de Boer, gymnast Jeffrey Wammes, tennis player John van Lottum and racing car driver Mike Verschuur. Only two of them are actually gay.

In the world of sport, heterosexuality is the norm. It’s an image that is seldom challenged, but are gay sportsmen doing themselves a favour? Owner/Editor Linda de Mol doesn’t think so. She believes revealing your sexuality can even be beneficial. Her slogan for the special edition is: 'Even more gold after coming out'.

Speculation
Racing car driver Mike Verschuur, who had already come out of the closet, agrees.

“Many fellow drivers – not mentioning any names – told me they were gay too. But they dare not say so in public which is a real pity. Because there is nothing to fear. On the contrary, it has only made me stronger. It’s made me a better driver.”

For gymnast Jeffrey Wammes, the special edition was a perfect opportunity to come out. “There was already a lot of speculation about whether or not I fell for boys or girls. To me it has nothing to do with sport or how I perform. But when I was asked to do this, I made it clear straight away how things were and that’s that.”

Football
Meanwhile we are all waiting for the first footballer to come out, in what is an extremely macho world. Ajax player Demy de Zeeuw doesn’t expect it to happen any time soon.

“It’s very difficult in football. That’s partly because of society. You want to change things, but there are some things that stay the same.”

 

Discussion

Georgy 3 June 2012 - 9:57pm / Belgium

Teamsports seem to me to be the hardest target, as teammates can be(and are) a big problem... but as a gay tennis player has told me, so called "individualistic" sports have by no means a less macho background, and locker rooms may be quite a gloomy experience, even unintentionally. No wonder lesbians are much more matter-of-fact on that ground (Nav'ova, B.J.King, Mauresmo, Martinez,and at least a dozen well into the Top 100's)

Abby Jones 8 March 2012 - 10:09am

In sports, especially for men, musculinity is a desired trait. It can affect your relationship with teammates who are less open about homosexuality. I respect the men who dared to come out of the closet, because in the most extreme scenarios, they might be forced off the team or the sport even. Not everyone is comfortable around them, even today. Abby

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