You can play

12 Sep

Doing some research on homophobia, sexism and racism in online and WiFi gaming, I came across the You Can Play Project (http://youcanplayproject.org/). In the organization’s own words:

You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

Now the words “without regard to” are always tricky to me when it comes to identity and diversity. All too often, what this means is pretending not to notice differences that are going to impact our status, access to opportunities and resources and even safety in a community, whether or not anyone admits to “regarding” them. And while the idea of “focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit” sounds well and good, let’s face it: “skills, work ethic and competitive spirit” don’t just flow out in the universe on their own, disembodied from people who have skin colors, reproductive organs, sexualities, beliefs and socioeconomic resources.

So I found myself worried, while at the same time grateful, that YCP is out there. And then, I hit “play” on the Dartmouth video featured on the website’s home page. I love it, and I believe in what they’re saying–please watch when you have a moment.

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