Archive for Sports

The Weigh In – Perez Bros

Just in time to battle discrimination at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Perez Bros present their new short film entitled, The Weigh In (2014).

Inspired by their film production work with Showtime Sports and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the Perez Bros have created a film that shatters stereotypes and brings a new meaning to concept of “contact sports.”

The Perez Bros are award-winning directors living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are best known for their work as co-directors on music videos and short narratives. Their films have been featured on ESPN and have played throughout the international festival circuit. Their style has often been described as comedic, surreal, and always creative.

Perez Bros Website: http://www.perezbros.com/

Press Contact: Hart Perez

Email: hartperez@perezbros.com

Bouncing back: silver medal-winning trampolinist stays upbeat about living with HIV

I came across this article on The Age website. Great to see such a positive (excuse the pun) article from a Newspaper that can sometimes get it wrong.

Remember if you have concerns or wanting more information about HIV, there are some great organisations, such as, VICAIDS/GMHC in Melbourne, Positive Living Centre in Melbourne, and ACON in Sydney, plus other state organisations, check out our directory page.

THE Olympic silver medallist Ji Wallace says finding out he was HIV positive was like “a bomb going off” in his head.

Wallace, the only Australian to have won a medal in gymnastics (silver on the trampoline in Sydney), said he walked around for weeks in a haze of shock and disbelief after learning a year ago he had contracted the virus from his partner at the time.

But Wallace says he has never looked back since that difficult couple of months he spent alone in Canada grappling with his new reality. Which is why he went public this week, inspired by an interview with Greg Louganis, the four-time Olympic diving gold medallist who revealed he was gay and HIV positive in an autobiography in 1995.

“I was in London at the Games and watched Piers Morgan interviewing [Louganis] and it was just such a normal interview and so positive,” Wallace said in Sydney after flying home from his role as an ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games.

“I felt like he had come a long way because when Greg came out it was a shock-horror story, quite negative, and it was really nice for him to sit there openly [this week] and talk about it. That night I had trouble sleeping so I wrote to Piers Morgan and said, ‘Thanks for treating him well … it’s a big issue and it always will be but you didn’t sensationalise anything.’ I wanted to say thanks and that I too was an Olympian living with HIV.”

The letter, which Wallace also sent to the Sydney Star Observer, a weekly newspaper for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, went viral on the internet and resulted in “literally thousands” of messages of support and gratitude for Wallace.

“It’s not a big deal to me. Everybody I needed to tell was very supportive of me, but it is a big deal to those people who find themselves discriminated against or bullied because of it,” he said.

“If one or two people or thousands of people get encouragement and courage to chase their dreams or live their lives honestly, if what I wrote makes a difference, then I have done the right thing.”

Wallace was openly but not publicly gay in Sydney when, as a long shot, he delighted a thunderous home crowd with a silver medal at trampolining’s Olympic debut. He made his sexuality known publicly four years later when a friend convinced him gay athletes should talk more about their sexuality. Life continued as normal, punctuated by a move to Canada to work with Cirque du Soleil, before his life changed last year.

“When a partner tells you they have HIV you’re super concerned about them, but then it was, ‘Hold on, if you have it does that mean I have it?”‘ Wallace said.

“Until I got tested there was that part of me that was ‘It’s a dream, it’s a dream’, unless it’s happening directly to you, you don’t really educate yourself about it … and then it seems like a bomb goes off in your head. And because I was overseas I wandered around like a zombie for a little while. It was quite some time before it really sunk in.”

Wallace moved back to Australia and began a program of antiretroviral drugs after being told he was “too healthy” to take part in trials for new drugs. He has his first big check-up next week but said by far the toughest challenge of the past year was telling his parents.

“Because they’re a generation and a half behind me, my parents are not within my community or current information system. I was really quite scared to tell them because I didn’t want them to think their son was going to die this horrible death,” he said.

Wallace took both parents to his doctor and watched, relieved, as “the fear drained out of their faces”.

“That’s another reason why I’m [speaking out],” he said. “I’m doing this to re-educate people about what it is and what it means to live with it.”

Ji Wallace ... was in a haze of shock.

Jeff Kennett on Gay AFL footballers

I guess it comes to no surprise that Jeff Kennett is on the gay bandwagon again?? He says he believes up to 5% of the AFL Players are gay, but live in secrecy…

I mean “DOH” as if most of us cannot work that one out for ourselves… I cannot understand why the chairman of Beyond Blue, who in past has made bad comments about the GLBTIQ community, thinks he is qualified to make this kind of assessment…

I am sure that there are gay AFL Players, and it is up to them to make the choice of “coming out”, Even they do not come out, I do not think that they would be in a high risk of suffering depression, as they would have the support of their families, close friends, and of course their football club if their sexuality is known….

Eddie Mcguire has made comment that he aware of gay AFL players, but as he stated, they are being looked after and it is up to them to make the choice of coming out…..

So, is this another bandwagon backhanded comment by Jeff Kennett to lift his profile at Beyond Blue???

Here is an article on the Foxsport website:

Jeff Kennett believes up to five per cent of AFL players are gay but are living in secrecy for fear of being ridiculed.

The former Victorian premier and Hawthorn Football Club president said players who concealed their sexuality from teammates were at risk of depression and, in this area, the sport had “a long way to go”.

“Not only am I not surprised at the number of players in the AFL who are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression – many of whom haven’t sought help for fear of being ridiculed or not selected – I’m also quite sure within the AFL there are a number of young men who are gay, who keep that fact to themselves, worried about how they’re going to be treated by their colleagues,” Kennett told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

Kennett said out of a playing group of 800, he would be “very surprised” if 40 or less weren’t gay.

Kennett recalled a conversation with a young player in recent years who said he was fearful of revealing his sexuality to his teammates because of locker room banter.

But he said attitudes had changed and peers would be accepting of their teammate’s sexuality.

“If he were to do so, I’m quite sure the players would embrace him, I’m quite sure the sort of comments that you could imagine being said in locker rooms, would not be said if, in fact, the playing group knew that one of their own was gay or was suffering a depressive illness,” Kennett said.

The comments come after rugby league referee Matt Cecchin recently revealed he was gay.