Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You Can't Sit With Us

(First blog as a Torontonian, whoo!)

I recently found out that Toronto is bidding to host the Bingham Cup international gay rugby tournament, and to this I say: "nope".


Give me the killjoy gold star, but I'm not rooting for your gay sports team. If your anything is complicit with binary gender organizing models, I will pass. It's not enough to let gay (notice I'm not using queer) people play sports. Tear the binary out of the public institutions of sport before you ask for public money.


I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't have a gay (or gender-specific otherwise) sports team, but diligence in facilitating equity should be requisite for public funding, Gay sports teams fall football fields short of this goal. (See what I did there ;)

It's an atrocity that sex segregation is inherent to all levels of professional and recreational sport.  In private, go nuts, but if my non-binary tax dollars are going to land in your pockets, I better be able to participate in my authentic gender. Sports clubs and events will inevitably be held to account for the gender discourses they (re)produce, and this accountability starts with popping the (mostly middle-class & white) gay bubble that gay sports teams are revolutionary.


The "You Can Play" campaign is a laughably failed application of gender theory to lived social exclusions. You can play as long as you're willing to pick if you're playing as a man or a woman. Sporting institutions that erase and exclude non-binary and indigenous genders are not equitable.

The Olympics have sex inspections. Do you know how dehumanizing that is for gender non-conformists? If you want public funding for sport, here's the one line litmus test: can everyone play?


Inherently, this assertion means that universally designed sports that accommodate players with (dis)abilities are more deserving of funding than ablest sports. The cultural significance of hockey should be more than enough to carry it through the indefinite future without reaching into the public purse.

We have to administer public policy for the world we want, not the world we assume. Pretending our planet is static and indestructible got us treadmill-of-death neoliberalism; we must not let those same assumptions marginalize gender diversity in sport or anywhere else in the public sphere.


If the blatant gender hierarchy of your sports club can't be profitable/sustainable without public funding, it should fail. So fuck the Olympics, fuck the NHL, fuck the WNBA, and fuck the Bingham Cup. I don't have to like you, and I don't.

Killjoy, out.

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