The Project

Be a Champion is centered around the culture of American competitive team sports and how the self engraved, socially constructed level of hegemonic masculinity that exists within it has negatively impacted homosexual athletes. Although LGBTQ+ representation has advanced substantially in many other aspects of society, the representation of openly gay athletes in competitive team sports has been relatively nonexistent or taboo. As of 2019, there has been only one openly gay athlete who plays in any of the major professional sports leagues, limiting representation for young LGBTQ+ sports fans. There is an existing praise and establishment of male hierarchy that comes with competitive team sports. That, and the normalized homophobic/sexist discourse that is constantly shared in playing fields and locker rooms serve as a constant reminder of a male athlete’s expectation to be heterosexual, solely due to their identity as an athlete. For my senior capstone project, I created a campaign aimed at addressing the culture of competitive sports as a whole, challenging sports fans, athletes and consumers to progress from the masculine ideals that exist in sports today around the message “Be a Champion”, or an advocate for change and someone who is able to be who they are while doing what they love.