Boys Will Be Boys

Into The Scrum

Ruggers

The notion of gay athletes has somehow always encountered resistance and controversy within the sport community. Stereotypes can define the performance of the athletes as well as their suitability to a specific discipline. Gender roles are constructed and performed within society. The binary code is widely imposed by the tradition and, in the worst case, is the only one allowed by law. Rugby by definition is a hard contact and manly game. Up until a few years ago, the possibility of gay players on the pitch was not even contemplated. The very common stereotype depicted homosexuals as weaker than straight guys and definitely not suitable for a “gentlemen’s fight club” like rugby. The locker room was a sacred space devoted to pure masculinity, where gay individuals would not fit. It was this discomfort 13 years ago that pushed a few of Toronto's gay rugby players to form the first gay-friendly rugby team in the city.  They unconsciously started the process of describing and deconstructing the idea of performance within masculinity. Established in 2003, Muddy York RFC primarily competes against ‘straight’ teams in the Toronto Rugby Union. The club also travels for exhibition matches against other gay teams, hosts the annual Beaver Bowl Tournament and every two years participates in the Bingham Cup, an international competition often labeled as the LGBTQ Rugby World Cup. 

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