Playing in your local or regional union.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 04, 2007 8:03 PM GMT
    I'm wondering what people's experiences are as gay ruggers who play in their regional union. Your experience may be with a predominantly straight team or one of the new gay-leaning teams. I'm curious about things like respect, camaraderie, the politically incorrect humor of the culture, homophobic talk or actions, and anything else. I'm in the Texas Rugby Union with a predominantly gay team. I'll reserve my experiences for later in this thread (assuming it even becomes a thread).
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    Aug 06, 2007 2:43 AM GMT
    I play for a predominantly straight club, although there are two other gay guys in the team. There's never really been any problem, but yes, occasionally a heterosexist remark slips through. There is a gay team in Sydney known as the Sydney Convicts, but most of the rest of the country don't have gay teams.

    I would say that us gay boys in my team play as hard and tough as anyone.
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    Aug 06, 2007 7:12 AM GMT
    gay rugby in texas? crazy. I'd actually be up for seeing one of thoes games. Where do you play? i didnt even know they had rugby in texas.
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    Aug 07, 2007 3:57 AM GMT
    ryan_andrew: Yeah. The Texas Rugby Union is well established and very active. Austin has more rugby teams per-capita than any other American city. There are three predominantly gay rugby teams in Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston). I know gay guys on straight-leaning teams as well.
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    Aug 07, 2007 3:59 AM GMT
    ryan_andrew: Games are typically played at a facility called Burr Field, in East Austin. The local DI team, the Austin Blacks, own this facility but allow other teams to use it with permission. Often there are things going on at Zilker Park as well.
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    Aug 07, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    same as our team, liltally.
    most of the guys are comfortable knowing that in reality, we have more in common with each other than in difference.
  • rugbyjockca

    Posts: 84

    Aug 08, 2007 4:38 PM GMT
    I'm with Muddy York RFC here in Toronto, a gay team that plays in both IGRAB (International gay Rugby something something) and the TRU (toronto rugby union).

    Our experiences have been mostly positive, with some real highlights, especially on the rare occassions where the other teams come to the drink-up afterwards.

    I know that there are homophobic comments and stuff, but it's been kept mostly off the pitch and out of (my) earshot.

    A funny story though:

    During a game, one of our newbies was tackled. The other player kept shouting "Hands off! Hands off!" and the newbie thought the guy was worried he was hitting on him. Newbie made a comment like "Chill, you aren't all that."

    Of course, the straight player was trying to tell the newbie that he couldn't play the ball from the ground...
  • dupontred

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    Aug 08, 2007 5:48 PM GMT
    Play in the Potomac Rugby Union and never really had a problem.

    About 7 years ago, the Marines didn't want to come to our drinkup, but they got shit for it from the rest of the Union, and now their team and coach is some of our best friends. No other problems, otherwise.

    It's about the rugby - if you can do that, nothing else matters.
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    Aug 09, 2007 8:27 PM GMT
    I have given up playing cos of an injury but I can assure you that there aint no way I could have carried on playing for my club in the UK when I was out.

    They are beyond homophobic and are too ignorant to get there heads round the fact that they are a bunch of ugly bastards who I really wouldnt wanna shag! They threw one guy out of the club as they thought he was gay!
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    Aug 13, 2007 4:30 PM GMT
    I played in school, but the Dublin gay team training doesn't work with my schedule, so I haven't started up again. I miss it though. Boo hiss to schedule conflict
  • canadalaw

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    Aug 15, 2007 3:45 PM GMT
    Like rugbyjock, i play for muddy york here in toronto and to reinterate what he said, it has been for the most part a really positive experience.

    Our relationship with the local rugby union is actually quite good. They appreciate the fact that we are one of the first teams every year to get our registration fees in on time. PLus they like the fact that when there are rugby events, we have a good showing and stay around for the drinkups.

    When we first approached the toronto rugby union stating that we were a predominantly gay team, i think they were a little shocked at first; but quickly took it in stride when we showed just how serious we were. I was the person who approached the TRU and after that initial phone call they have been nothing but supportive. So much so, that when the Rugby Union was wanting to do some pilot projects concerning registration; we were the team they approached to work on it.

    In terms of other teams, it has also been pretty good. A lot of teams appreciate our will power, grit and the fact that even when we are losing, we still fight til the end.
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    Sep 16, 2007 5:58 PM GMT
    I play in argentina in the buenos aires rugby union and things are very quiet about gays. Im sure there must be a certain ammount of gay men playing but no one is out (I include myself). And for those who people know about (but havent said anything publicly), its all very hidden and no one talks about it.
    I think there s a huge ammount of ignorance than homophobia here. I have teammates that still have the image of gay men being only feminin and hairstylists or even men that are scared of the sport because of its aggresiveness. However, things are starting to change now, specially because argentina has become more open about gay issues in the last couple of years.
    Also Rugby in argentina rugby is a very elitist sport, most people that play are middle high and high social class so, it still remains in a small circle of people, therefore making it easier for everyone to know eachother. So I think it makes it harder for people to come out.
    In my personal experience, I havent had any problems or heard anything very deeply homophobic but there is time to time a comment like "dont be a sissy" but its not harmfull. Anyway, I dont think Im the best example since no one knows about me. But, to be honest, I am a bit affraid of how people would react if I said anything publicly but at the end of the day, its a sport and we are there to play. I know that some teammates wouldnt have a problem because they know me, but dont know about the others.
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    Sep 19, 2007 1:27 PM GMT
    Good god Muscu with Brazil being the gay mecca it is I was shocked to read your comments.

    Interesting fact the US has more rugby players than anyother country in the world, so if its now 1 in 5 men are gay thats a hell of alot of gay rugger players!

    Out of interest how do your gay teams fair in the leagues? I only ask that as the one in the UK (well last year) there results were a bit shocking to say the least and that put me off playing for them when I could. Oh how I miss the great game :-(
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    Sep 19, 2007 4:42 PM GMT
    there are no gay teams in argentina. I think there used to be one a couple of years ago but they played for the empresarial league which is a smaller league and it only has teams from corporations or companies. I heard it was disolved because of certain differences within the authorities and the teammates.
    As for your comment about brazil, you must know that brazil and argentina, even if we share boundaries, are very different countries with very different mentalities. I think that the gay community in brazil is better organized and larger so therefore, they try to be accepted as an organization. In argentina, we are not well organized however, its more from an individual point of view that gay people blend with the rest of argentine society and thanks to that, we are becoming more and more accepted. I know that certain people will not agree with me on this but, from what brazilians have told me that visited argentina, they think that argentina is less homophobic than brazil, even if brazil has a more solid gay community.
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    Sep 20, 2007 1:04 AM GMT
    Our team lost in the prelim final this year, so we were reasonably happy with our season.

    Funny that the US has the most rugby players in the world. Not doing too well in the World Cup, are ya? ;)
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    Sep 20, 2007 1:11 AM GMT
    I think he meant gay rugby players...
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    Sep 25, 2007 9:36 PM GMT
    Thanks for that muscu its good to hear what other countries are really like.

    And no I actualy meant rugby players, there are more people signed up to the RFU in North America than anywhere else. But to be honest the game is played very differently in the US. Unfortunately the southern hemisphere game adapted and changed and with that so did Europe in order to compete. With the changing nature of the game it lost alot of its tradition in the fact that regardless of size or shape there was always a position to suit.

    The first to fall fowl of this were the Welsh in the 90's they didnt adapt but are now starting to make a comeback. North America hasnt adapted but Argentina is starting to and its showing, a few years if they can keep the momentum I feel they will be a force to be reckoned with, I dont think they will ever beat the Kiwis but they shall start to give them a run for there money
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    Sep 25, 2007 10:00 PM GMT
    I have my first practice with my new, straight team tonight. I haven't done anything rugby oriented since March. I'm excited, nervous, hopeful, rusty...

    Anyway...wish me luck!
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    Sep 25, 2007 10:15 PM GMT
    GOOD LUCK (like you need it)
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:32 AM GMT
    Good luck with it RuggerATX.
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    Sep 26, 2007 3:35 PM GMT
    sooooo - how was practice?
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    Sep 26, 2007 3:43 PM GMT
    My lazy summer kicked my ass. I was dizzy and nauseous after a brief game of touch rugby and *warmups*. But then things got better. I was more of a big fish on my gay team, I'm a little fish now. Guess I'll kiss my #10 jersey goodbye for a while.

    I was surprised to see only two other guys from my former team show up.

    But it feels so good to be playing rugby again. I know I am addicted. I hadn't played since March. I was up most of the night with rugby on the brain. That always happens after the first few practices. Plus my back hurts this AM, but more of the same tomorrow night! Yay!
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:08 PM GMT
    so, is rugby really all that, well, violent isn't thr right word, but I always hear tales of all types of injuries and blood...I think it's mostly a stereotype but is it more painful than any other sport?
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:18 PM GMT
    It is only superficially painful. Bruises and cuts. There are unsafe ways to play and that's how more serious injuries occur. Frankly, gridiron is way more violent as it lacks the respect for the other players that rugby affords. They want to kill each other it seems. They have a false feeling of invincibility due to all the so-called protection. How many broken necks in the NFL last month? Yet I haven't heard of any during the current Rugby World Cup.

  • rugbyjockca

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    Sep 27, 2007 7:38 PM GMT
    Whenever the subject of rugby being dangerous comes up, I always say something about how ruggers HATE game stoppages, and since injuries tend to slow the game down, most of the techniques in the game are designed to cause as few injuries as possible.

    Aside from the occassional fluke injury, most of the injuries our team sees are either because of low fitness or low commitment - if you hold back when going into a tackle, you're asking for trouble.