Today I went for a run and was reflecting on how PE lessons in school affected me. I remember being made to feel an outsider as I did not fit the mould of what a boy in a PE class “should” be. I was skinny, weak, effeminate, sexually confused and hated being made the centre of attention. PE lessons were hell and I found any way and any excuse I could to avoid taking part . It was easier to lie and sit on the side then be abused by teachers and other students for not being “man enough” and enduring the shame of partaking in the limited choice of football or rugby. What else would a young boy be remotely interested in…
You may be reading this now and recognise yourself as either the one who loved PE or those who loathed it… maybe you was too queer, too big, too skinny, not sporty or not catered for?!
Fast forward 25 years and it’s taken a lot to change my attitude towards physical exercise. My way in via the back door was through Yoga and by building confidence in my physical abilities I have learnt to love cardio, but still avoid any type of group sport and activity for fear of feeing shamed for not being “man enough” to be part of the games.
It was heart warming today to see @stonewalluk launch their #rainbowlaces campaign and hear of organisations like @pridesportsuk forging ways of making group sports accessible for #lgbtq people. I hope this is a sign of changes happening and us outsiders feeling better considered and represented when it comes to not fitting the fitness mould.
Locally I am only aware of the @lgbt.yoga.southend group which was set up with the intention of meeting the Yoga needs of lgbtq people in Essex and I wonder are there other groups or organisations out there with a similar ethos? I would be interested to hear your ideas or views on this subject.
Sending my love to all those outsiders 🏳️🌈❤️