Belgian Rower Starts Instagram Campaign For Gay Athletes

Simon Haerinck (second from right) and friends. / Image via Instagram @simonhaerinck

Can one rower help to make the world of sports a more LGBTQ-inclusive place? One can certainly try and one is trying.

According to the Brussels Times, Simon Haerinck is a Ghent rower who’s trying to spread the message “same sport different sexuality.” Haerinck is doing it by getting the help and assistance of fellow rowers Niels Raoul Boone, Ruben Claeys, and Henri Steyaert. The four have photographed themselves together with the words “same sport different sexuality” painted on their bare chests. According to Haerinck, the act is to defuse the taboo around homosexuality in sports.


“Today we are launching the first part of our campaign “same sport, different sexuality,” to raise awareness about homophobia in sports, which unfortunately is still a taboo,” Haerinck explains through and Instagram description.

“No one should have to hide their sexuality for fear of their teammates’ reactions. No one should have to be afraid to start playing sports for this reason. Sport is for everyone so let’s create a place of acceptance,” he adds.

Haerinck has also encouraged his straight peers in sports to join the campaign to show their support as allies. He asks that allies take pictures with their LGBTQ teammates and friends in sports. He then asks that they use the hashtag #samesportdifferentsexuality.

Here’s to hoping more people join this campaign.

Source: The Brussels Times

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