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2022 Rainbow Logo Challenge

By glrfcentral, in Acceptance,

The Challenge
The 2022 Rainbow Logo Challenge is a month-long community celebration of the global LGBTQ+ community. Sponsored by the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF), the Challenge is an opportunity for rowing clubs, programmes, governing bodies, and related businesses to openly show their support for LGBTQ+ rowers, coaches, staff, and volunteers by incorporating rainbow colors in their social media and website logos.
The Challenge runs for the entire month of June so organizations can jump onboard at any time during the month.
The Impact
June is Pride month around the world, a time when the LGBTQ+ community celebrates their diversity and affirms their pride in who they are. When an organization displays a rainbow flag or rainbow symbol such as a logo, it is sending a message of inclusion and acceptance. For someone in the LGBTQ+ community, seeing a rainbow flag or image with rainbow colors instantly conveys a feeling of reassurance that they are welcome in that place of business or that organization.
The Challenge is important because of the impact social media has on the rowing community. Every social view, be it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, a blog, or a website, that showcases a rainbow infused logo, tells the site visitor that the organization values and supports the LGBTQ+ community.
The Cultural Value
The importance of the Challenge reaches far beyond its impact during June pride month. The display of a rainbow logo during Pride month sends a message that LGBTQ+ members are warmly welcome throughout the year in a team, programme, club, or organization, and that their careers and their race seats are not in jeopardy if they reveal their orientation at some point in the future.
Displaying a rainbow logo can reassure someone in the rowing community who is reticent about sharing this big part of their private lives publicly and that they can feel comfortable in doing so. The logo also sends a broader organizational message to everyone in the club or programme that warmly welcoming the LGBTQ+ community is an important cultural value.
The Origins
The history of the Rainbow Logo Challenge dates to the June 2019 USRowing Junior National Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, in Florida - United States. On Thursday, 06 June 2019, the then USRowing Executive Director Patrick McNerney walked over to the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation booth to learn more about The Rower’s Pledge. While talking with GLRF Executive Director Brian Todd, Patrick asked how USRowing could do more to support the LGBTQ+ community. The reply was instantaneous: change your logo to a rainbow logo for June Pride month. Patrick was momentarily stunned and incredulous: “Really? That’s important? Brian’s reply was quick: “oh yeah, you have no idea how important that is to the community.” Whereupon Patrick turned to his communication staff and directed them to change the USRowing logo by 5 pm that day. It was done by 2 pm.
After that stunning sudden change by USRowing, the idea of a Rainbow Logo Challenge emerged. GLRF issued the first Rainbow Logo Challenge on 11 June 2019. The challenge went out by Twitter and Facebook posts but it got little notice. A few organization’s jumped onboard (JL Racing for one). GLRF called Rowing Canada to give them a heads up in case their members might be calling in. Their logo went up a few days later and it was spectacular. The logo challenge stayed dormant in 2020 and 2021 as the restrictions and challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic shut down most of the rowing community.
How To Participate
The crux of the Rainbow Logo Challenge is to change your organization logo to incorporate several if not all of the LGBTQ+ rainbow colors (started as 8 then commonly displayed as 6 and now 8 again). A big part of the Challenge is to feature the rainbow logo on all of an organization’s social media feeds as well as it’s website. It is understood that some websites can’t instantly or easily change their logo, like a social media feed, because of how the website logo is coded into the header. The workaround for that is to feature a rainbow image on the home page. The final part of the challenge is to display the rainbow logos for the entire month of June.
Is there an award for the challenge, gold, silver, or bronze, since the rowing community is so ultra-competitive? No. This is a self-challenge. Beyond the logos, perhaps some organizations may find inventive ways to celebrate and highlight LGBTQ+ visibility, diversity, and inclusiveness. Share those displays or events or gestures with GLRF and we will mention those, and of course, we will be eager to see each and every rainbow logo you send to: rowing@glrf.info. We also have a Rainbow Logo Challenge on Tumblr - see link in green announcement banner at top of the page.


Facing the gay news in a marriage

By glrfcentral, in Acceptance,

The following is a copy of an article published in Yahoo Sport by Princy G. James on 18 October 2018.
Unless otherweise noted, all content is considered copyrighted and all rights are reserved. This news article is copied into this webpage browser for the convenience of our members and guests. As a nonprofit organization, we strive to educate the greater rowing community about issues of homophobia that face all sports and the need for inclusion and acceptance [beyond tolerance]. We do not seek any financial gain from the the use of this news article and the text of the news article is displayed in its entirety, unaltered.

When my husband told me he is gay

We Indians have a unique perspective about marriage. Majority of us are conditioned to look at it as an inevitable reality; it can be postponed, but never avoided. Thanks to the predominance of arranged marriages and the shame associated with sex outside wedlock, we are often denied the luxury of time for finding the right partner through a trial and error method. As our culture is strongly rooted in the strength and security a family offers, being a black sheep can be daunting.
For sure people can get married without fuss if they hit the jackpot when it comes to religion, caste and social status. For us, the challenge lies not just in finding the right one, but also getting the approval of the family. If heterosexuals have to go through such ordeals, that gives a perspective on how Sisyphean the task would be for a homosexual to live a life of he/she desires.
There isn’t much to talk about how Kripa and Rahul met. Their alliance was a result of just another bland, arranged process — same caste, profession, and above all, matching horoscopes. They had little reason not to go ahead with the decision of their respective parents, and within a month they found each other on the matrimonial website, wedding happened on an auspicious date decided by the astrologer.
Rahul refused to take long leave for the wedding citing some work issues, cleverly evading the prospect of a honeymoon trip. He asked Kripa whether she could manage to live for some more days in the hostel where she had been staying, until he could find an apartment. Rahul phoned her daily, but their conversations were seldom romantic or flirtatious. Kripa felt odd, but his soft-spoken and polite demeanour made her overlook those red flags.
Rahul couldn’t play hide and seek forever as they both worked in the same city. Soon, they moved in together.
To the shock of Kripa’s friends, she returned to her hostel barely weeks after her leaving, and they were devastated by her revelations. Rahul apparently told his wife that he cannot have any physical relationship with her, as he wasn’t attracted to women. He apologised for not revealing the fact before, as he was under the assumption that maybe living with a woman could make a difference to his attitude. He assured he would remain a nice friend to her, pleading not to leave and ruin their relationship.
The confession was too much for Kripa to process. Although heartbroken, she even decided to accept his proposal for a sexless marriage based on friendship as she didn’t want to give up without trying. But after several deliberations, she took the smart decision to leave her husband despite his persuasions. Her only condition was that he should disclose the truth to his family.
Rahul’s family blamed Kripa, probably because he didn’t reveal the truth. She decided to forget what happened as a nightmare, and put focus and energy on her job. That helped her save herself from a mental breakdown, and gradually, her life got back on track. She married again, and relocated to another city.
Several years later, Kripa found her ex-husband on Facebook. She was shocked to see that he had remarried, and is now a father to twins. She felt sorry for his second wife, but was glad she had the courage to walk off rather than being an accomplice in a make-believe marriage.
As for Rahul, it is no big surprise that he continues living behind a facade, as coming out of the closet can be suicidal to him. It takes extraordinary courage to risk being ostracised by the family and the society. Besides, fatherhood provides a perfect smokescreen to avoid any suspicion.
We all have our share of lies in life which may or may not be detrimental, but some live a lie throughout — out of fear or of belief that any lie could become a tangible reality if they keep believing in it. No matter what the justifications are, it is indeed a pity that other innocent lives also get dragged into that mess.
Kripa and Rahul’s story is something we don’t hear about often, unlike other relationship issues. But that doesn’t mean people like Rahul who are trapped in heterosexual family system do not exist.
Imagine a scenario where the roles are reversed — marriage between a lesbian and a hetero male. It might go unrecognised owing to the sexual passivity fallacy attributed to women by patriarchy, or may even be misconstrued as demureness, a virtue in the conservative social context. Even if the girl objects, she doesn’t enjoy the same privilege as a male when it comes to exercising her rights on her own body; marital rapes are commonplace in patriarchal culture.
Confirmation bias coupled with narrow mindedness make majority believe that attraction towards someone of the same sex is a byproduct of decadent culture, than a natural phenomenon. We have come a long way from the days doctors/therapists used to consider homosexuality as perversion and tried to fix it, but we also have a long way to go to give it acceptance in the society. Once that happens, it can also help prevent collateral casualties like Kripa.

The fourth annual Pride Cup has been announced for Sunday 7 May 2017 at Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve. The 2017 Pride Cup will see champions Yarra Glen take on the Yea Tigers in a match that will showcase the football and netball league’s support for diversity and inclusion in sport.
The day will include a range of football and netball games as part of the AFL Yarra Ranges league. In a show of support for the LGBTIQ community the football ground will feature rainbow colours at the 50 metre line.
Organisers say Pride Cup celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI).
Now in its fourth year, Pride Cup was the inspiration behind the AFL Pride Match in 2016 between the St Kilda Football Club and the Sydney Swans to start a national Pride Cup.
Teams who participate in the Pride Cup receive diversity and inclusion training in the lead up to the event by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria with support from Yarra Ranges Council, AFL and Netball Victoria.
Pride Cup organiser Jason Ball says the Pride Cup continues to have an impact at the grassroots and the national level.
“The Pride Cup is continuing to grow and have a positive influence on Australian rules football. We are heartened to see both the AFL at a national level but also other leagues around Victoria showing their interest in promoting and supporting diversity in the sport,” Mr Ball said.
“The Pride Cup is not just a show of support for the LGBTI community, it is about educating our clubs, our coaches and our players about the diversity and sporting talent that exists in our community. It is about making sure that our local footy and netball clubs are open for all.”
2017 Pride Cup on 7 May 2017 will include a range of football and netball games ending with the senior Pride Cup football match at 2.10pm and the presentation of the Pride Cup at 4.30pm.
For more information visit pridecup.org.au

Australia’s top sports commentators have come out in support of same-sex marriage following the inaugural Australian Football League Women’s season. Mark Robinson from the Herald Sun penned a column after the AFLW’s Best and Fairest night (the women’s equivalent to the Brownlow Medal). The article titled ‘Footy’s Grown Up: It’s time for politicians to do the same’ spoke about the moment Crows premiership player, Erin Phillips, won the Best and Fairest medal.
Phillips and her wife Tracy Gahan kissed and Robinson called it, “the kiss that travelled around the country”.
He wrote:
“When Erin Phillips was named the best player at the AFLW awards night on Tuesday and leaned towards her wife, Tracy, the celebratory kiss was commanding for its, well, normality.
“It was a beautiful photo. Perhaps on its way to becoming an iconic photo.”
Robinson said it was a moment that politicians should take note of:
“An international sportswoman doing what comes naturally, kissing the person who has helped her achieve her greatest dream.
“Politicians shouldn’t ignore it, nor should Australians who have little time for gay people and less so for gay marriage.
“Those people are ignorant,” Robinson wrote.
He added:
“Those politicians who have put the slows on the inevitable — marriage equality — are the real bigots. These supposedly intelligent men and women are playing politics with the subject and it’s self-centred rubbish.
“It’s an embarrassment that we don’t have same-sex marriage and adds to the popular belief around the world that Australia is a backwater of convicts and hoodlums.”
Like Robinson, The Age’s Melissa Singer wrote about the significance of women AFL players being publicly out and said:
“What the women's AFL has done for equality in the game in six months the men's game has not managed to achieve in more than 120 years.”
Watch Erin Phillips thank her wife and that iconic kiss at the AFLW Best and Fairest.
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Author Rachel Cook

Manchester United has become the first UK sports team to partner with gay rights organisation Stonewall. The most successful team in British football history has announced that they will work with the charity “to tackle LGBT issues in sport and society”.
After joining in with Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign last year, the club – which is worth £2.2 billion – moved to cement its relationship with the charity and the LGBT community.
The partnership will see United’s ground play host to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Summit in May, with sports leaders gathering at the red devils' home ground Old Trafford to gain skills and knowledge for LGBT activism.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “Manchester United’s support means we can reach millions of football fans both here and around the world, to encourage them to do their part in making all people feel welcome in sport.
“It’s crucial for organisations like Manchester United to show they not only welcome LGBT people, but are active in leading the change.”
Gay soccer clubs in your city:
Brisbane Melbourne Sydney Mens
Sydney womens
Author Andrew Shaw

Yes, it’s time for ChillOut - the greatest gay getaway in the country, but it all doesn’t have to be about parties, eating out and spas, there’s plenty to do for the sports-minded among us too. The Nomads are back and their walking tours are a great way to start your Saturday mornings.
Enjoy a relaxed 4km (2.5 hour) circuit walk from Lake Daylesford into Hepburn Regional Park, tasting the local mineral springs along the way (bring a cup). Morning tea provided midway. Optional lake swim at the end. Sensible footwear is advised and you should, BYO water, hat, sunscreen too. Saturday March 11, 10am – 12.30, Registration at 17 Leggatt Street, Daylesford, $5 members, $10 non-members (cash payment at registration).
Heard of the Postie Bike Tours ? This is a wonderful way to see the landscapes of central Victoria over two or eight days.
You’ll travel on a traditional postie bike through Daylesford’s magical district staying in unique places and towns. The tour takes you through magnificent forests and places that are not readily accessible by car. The tour is aimed at those with an adventurous streak, a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and a sense of humour.
Fully registered Honda CT110 Postie Bike for the tour, support team, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Saturday 9am – 4pm, Cost $295, Phone 0407 197 138 to book.
Anyone for tennis?
The Vic Tennis Picnic and Fast4 Tournament is great for the budding tennis champs among us.
Bring your racquet and have a hit, or if you are in the mood for some fierce competition contact VicTennis to enter the comp as a team of two (or they can pair you up). All welcome. Saturday March 11, 12pm-4pm, Daylesford Lawn Tennis Club, 64 West St, Daylesford, gold coin donation.
Ready to get wet? Then head to the Baywatch Pool Party presented by VAC and ChillOut
Whether you want to play it cool like The Hoff or bust out like Pam Anderson, slow run your way down to the Baywatch Pool Party.  Hosted by the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and ChillOut, this Saturday session is a great way to enjoy a snag poolside while listening to music. Join in on a round of Bumpa Polo with Water Polo Victoria. Never heard of Bumpa Polo? Get into one of the inner tubes on the day and you’ll soon find out. Saturday March 11, 1pm – 5pm, Daylesford Pool Central Springs Road.
For more information head to chilloutfestival.com.au
(Top image from Vic Tennis Facebook page).
Author Rachel Cook

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