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Homophobia In Rugby?

Hey there Guys,

This morning I awoke to some of the most amazing images in my email tray. I am the first to admit that I am always going to admire an nice rugby players body however you can imagine my surprise to read about rugby players stripping off supporting World Aids Day! Heck in the UK it seems that the players are scrambling over themselves to get the kit off for the lads!

First cab of the rank was Sacha Harding AKA “Britain’s Manliest Man” stripping for Elton John’s AIDS foundation. As reported by The Accidental Bear:

Sacha knows he will get heat from his team mates about the sexy shoot, but glad to help the cause. “The Elton John Aids Foundation supports innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS.”

As the cover boy for GT’s, formally known as Gay Times, “nude” issue Sacha joins over 120 other people stripping to help highlight and raise funds for Elton John’s AIDS Foundation.

You can enjoy a brief, 😉 , video of Sacha’s photo shoot above.

For those not in the UK copies of the two part series can be downloaded onto your computer or iPads here @ Pocket Mags.

Pictured above are Karl Dickson, Sam Smith and Seb Stegmann posing for the Terrence Higgins Trust’s new campaign for World Aids Day “Stand Up, Stand Out”.

As quoted at the Pink News Blog Scrum-half Karl Dickson said:

“More and more people are diagnosed with HIV every year and we’re only going to tackle it if we start talking more about safer sex. Get your red pants on for World AIDS Day this year and support a brilliant charity so they can be there for even more people.”

While I am not really convinced that wearing red underpants is going to make a massive difference to the climate of HIV/AIDS, I am more then happy to donate to look at sexy blokes in their jocks. Knowing that the cash is going to a great cause just makes that warm fuzzy feeling even warmer and fuzzier!

For those wondering where all the Aussie footy player action is may I introduce David Pocock:

While not associated with World Aids Day, David has been an advocate for gay marriage reform stating that he will not marry his girlfriend until his gay friends can as well. As noted in Star Observer:

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich welcomed Pocock’s statement saying it shows support for the issue is increasingly widespread in all sections of Australian society.

“David Pocock’s strong support for equality will have a dramatic impact in a sports-mad nation like Australia,” Greenwich said.

Most interesting for me is that not only is a straight rugby player advocating for gay marriage rights but having a Christian straight rugby player advocating for gay marriage rights floors me!

“Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys the family and all that kind of rubbish,” Pocock said.

“They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalised.”

“I guess it is a fear of the unknown – if you talk to someone who doesn’t like gay people you can almost guarantee that they don’t know too many.”

Amazing, but where is this all coming from?

As a teenager I grew up attending a school that was hyper masculine, where the 1st 15 were worshiped like gods in the classroom and school yard, not just in my grubbiest of dreams.

I hated them. Worst was that it was a bizzare hatred as I found their homophobic macho-bullshit  behavior disgusting yet I was physically attracted to these men in ways that attracted attention to me and more of their homophobic actions.

Having grown up lusting yet fearful of these men has certainly put them in the “not to be trusted basket” however it would appear that cracks are starting to appear in the homophobic front of the past.

Is it acknowledgment of previous bad acts? Is it the actions of gay athletes like Gareth Thomas and Ian Roberts brave enough to stand and share their sexuality? Or is it just “trendy” with rugby cashing in on the rocket like success of Ben Cohen’s passionate plea to remove bullying and homophobia from sport and the world?

To be honest I have no idea. While I agree it’s nice to have some good looking man meat to help promote worthy causes, in the back of my mind is the memory of taunting, teasing and bashing at the hand of these same people in the past, and still in the news today. Here is hoping that this will change but for my previously mentioned reasons I would be holding my breath.

Yours in good health.

Dr George

PS. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment in the box below.

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