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You Can Play Project
Posted by canmark 2012-03-04 08:57:33

Akin to "It Gets Better," the "You Can Play Project" is a campaign to show support to LGBT people in sports. It's about gay and straight athletes supporting and encouraging people to participate in sports at all levels.

The campaign debuts today with a commercial featuring several NHL players that will air during NBC's Boston Bruins-New York Rangers telecast.

NY Times:
Washington Post:

You Can Play Project
Posted by canmark 2012-03-18 15:06:36

Ottawa Citizen: A gay jock takes off the mask
How one young Ottawa man is fighting homophobia in the locker-room


Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and his son, Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, have just launched the You Can Play Project to tackle the "casual homophobia" of professional hockey, where there is still no openly gay athlete. The initiative is in honour of Brendan Burke, their son and brother, who came out shortly before he was killed in a car accident in 2010.
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The campaign is a small sign of change in the elite level of sport. One day this attitude may trickle down to places like the locker-rooms of the Lanark-Carleton Minor Hockey League, where Scott Heggart risked ostracization and ridicule to do what few athletes before him, professional or amateur, dared to.
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During the first week of Grade 10, Scott recorded a video of himself telling his coming out story. He posted it to YouTube, then showed his parents.

This video would eventually receive more than 52,000 views from people who had no idea he was a gay teen living in Stittsville.

He told his parents he planned to post one video each day for the next year as he documented his experience of coming out as a gay jock. He hoped he could work out his anxieties anonymously online, as well as solicit support from others who had already walked this path.

"Our reaction was total fear because the Internet can be a scary place," says Julie.

She insisted his identity be protected, but she didn't fight him. He posted the videos anonymously to his own YouTube channel. People could find them, and post comments, searching words such as "coming out story" and "gay jock," for example. "He needed to do this. It was a place where he could be himself and share his struggles and his conflicts and everything he was going through with this broader community."

Scott's YouTube channel: