Sports teammates more accepting of LGBT players: Survey

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Openly gay men and lesbians generally feel accepted in their sports clubs, according to a study by social and cultural planning office SCP on the sports participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT), RTL Nieuws reports.

A study by RTL last year revealed that LGBT athletes aren't always open about their sexuality. The SCP study revealed that when they are, they generally feel accepted. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are generally well accepted, according to the SCP.

"But in men's teams more gay jokes are made", the researchers conclude. They add however that "gay team athletes often experience these comments and jokes as innocent." According to the SCP, this indicates that once gay men are part of a men's team, "they feel generally accepted". But it also shows that there is a 'threshold' for membership.

This 'threshold' seems larger for 'macho' or contact sports. Gay men seem to avoid these kind of sports because they worry that they will not be accepted.

For lesbian and bisexual women the situation is different. Among them sexual orientation is far less often of influence, according to SCP. 

The SCP also referred to a study by the Mulier Institute from 2013. That study concluded that 86 percent don't have a problem with an openly LGBT fellow athlete. 73 percent don't have a problem showering with a gay or lesbian athlete of the same gender. And 75 percent are happy with their child being trained by an LGBT coach of the same gender as their child.

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