Gay sports under scrutiny: what anthropology can say?
Wagner De Camargo
Paper short abstract:
The institutionalized models of LGBT sports, globally practiced and widely known, are the Gay Games and the Outgames. This research analyzes them and seeks to shed light on this sport and its relationships to the mainstream Olympic sports and the economic/political issues of the western nations
Paper long abstract:
It could be found in the world of sports uncountable expressions of groups and individuals who practice some sport activities. In the case of gays and lesbians there is no exception. The current models of LGBT sports are the Gay Games and Outgames. Gay Games was the first model, emerged in the 80's from the discourses on identities, and Outgames was recently born demanding revision in the power of these games, and proposing alternatives toward diversity and human rights of minorities. However such events reproduce the relation of consumption and commercialization interlinked to issues of cultural identity and community. Besides, they replicate hierarchies, logics of exclusion, and the standards of athletic performance of mainstream Olympic sports. Taking Social Anthropology core modes and ethnographic description, a multisited ethnography was developed in four sports tournaments. Thus some considerations can be summarized: those events are characterized as being "exclusively gay worlds" (a ghetto of gay male); they are destinations such as any others inside the international circuit of parties (like gay parades), and, besides, they reproduce the hierarchy of masculinities from the conventional world of sports. Having in mind these findings and based on the cultural comparison with the Olympics as the contemporary expression in sports, this research aims to rethink the LGBT sports - and, by extension, the conventional sports - through a distinct logic, which means not only criticize the institutional sports models available, as well as to challenge the sportive structure, thinking about a "distinct way" (less conventional) of doing sport
The anthropology of sport in a changing world