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.

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Part 2 of the campaign: the taboo of the locker room and showering together. As a rower I can’t really complain about this. Rowers are very open and accepting. In other sports there is still a bit of work to be done. Fact: 1 in 3 straight soccer players is not comfortable showering next to a LGBTQ- player. I can’t really get my head around this. I don’t see why this could be a problem. Did anyone had a bad experience with this? Or how is the situation in your club? Let me know in the comments below. 👇 Let’s tackle this problem together. Thank you Pic by @louiskerckhof #sports #rowers #rowing #samesportdifferentsexuality #shower #showerpic #naked #lockerroom #taboo #straight #gay #lgbtq #justpeople #soccer #basketball #tennis @theellenshow

A post shared by Simon Haerinck (@simonhaerinck) on

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

What do you think?