Welcome to Batting for Both Teams, in which I hope to explore the interplay between gender/sexuality and sport, particularly competitive team sports, as it is currently played in the Cambridgeshire area of the United Kingdom.Your writer is an openly bisexual/pansexual, non-monogamous, genderfluid but male presenting sportsperson, fan and official. In my time as a sports-obsessed adult, I have experienced a range of treatment and opinions relating to sexuality and gender across a number of different sporting activities.This certainly does not mean I have been exposed to all possible aspects and perspectives on sport, and will rely on others to provide their voices.
It has always struck me as particularly incongruous that activities which inherently promote competition on the basis of ability and merit choose to codify gender – not a defining part of a person’s sporting skill – into their laws and rules. Division of genders across virtually all sports is so fundamentally ingrained in our sporting psyche that entire sports centre their socialising, coaching and skill expectations on a trait which at most has a minor impact on actual sporting potential for a few individuals.
It is for this reason that I want to open up this debate to a wider audience, and hope to hear from and receive constructive contributions from as many people of different sexualities, genders and sports backgrounds as possible, in order to discuss and question these widespread assumptions held so commonly in our society. I look forward to sharing ideas with you all, regardless of your sporting background (even if non-existent, as mine was for my first 19 years!).
I will be attempting to keep a working glossary of terms both sporting and relating to gender and sexuality, and will highlight these words in italics! Please find them in the Glossary section.
Many thanks to the wonderful Sophie for the artwork!