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News & Features » June 2016 » Cyd Zeigler: On Writing Fair Play

Cyd Zeigler: On Writing Fair Play

To celebrate the release of Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes Are Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports — the latest from our Edge of Sports imprint — we’re pleased to feature a statement from author Cyd Zeigler on overcoming the homophobia present in sports today.

FairPlayFor decades fear has been the dominant emotion governing the lives of LGBT athletes. Few people in sports would dare step out of the closet, afraid of losing friends, jobs, and the all-important “playing time” if they live openly.

In the last several years that trickle of people coming out in sports has become a stream. College basketball players in Virginia and professional soccer players in California are finding the strength to be their true selves with their teammates, their coaches, and the public. Rather than outright rejection, they are finding open arms. It’s not perfect—and we will continue to aim for that perfectly inclusive world—but the sports world has largely embraced these LGBT athletes.

Yet fear lingers in the minds of so many LGBT people in sports.

Fair Play takes aim at that fear. It’s only by addressing all of the issues swirling in the minds of these athletes, coaches, managers, agents, and sports writers that we can finally address homophobia and transphobia in sports once and for all. We need that stream of people coming out to become a tsunami if the roots of fear for LGBT athletes are going to dissipate forever.

Certainly my work at Outsports has helped. With every coming-out story we tell, another athlete finds the courage to be her true self. This book is the culmination of fifteen years telling the stories and struggles of LGBT people in sports. My eyes have been opened to the truth by these stories. Now I share that truth with the rest of the world and help turn the trickle into a tsunami.

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CydZeiglerCYD ZEIGLER is one of the world’s foremost experts on LGBT issues in sports. Along with his Outsports cofounder Jim Buzinski, Zeigler has written more coming-out stories of LGBT people—in sports or any other arena—than any journalist in America. These stories have included former NBA player John Amaechi, former NFL prospect Wade Davis, NFL hopeful Michael Sam, and NCAA basketball player Derrick Gordon, in addition to countless other athletes and coaches in high school, college, and pro sports. Zeigler also cofounded the Sports Equality Foundation, which helps fund the cycle of LGBT people coming out and being out in sports. He appears regularly on ESPN, and in the New York Times and USA Today, and provides expertise on LGBT sports issues for countless other media outlets including Sports Illustrated, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and NPR. He is a former high school athlete, still holding school track-and-field records twenty-five years later. A graduate of Stanford University, Zeigler lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two cats. Fair Play is his latest work.

Posted: Jun 9, 2016

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