Lesbians and gay men and sport
Lesbians and sport
The stereotype of the 'sporty lesbian' has some grounding in reality. Contributors talk about the 'sporty' types, alongside butch and femme. Lesbians who were 'sporty' or seen as 'tomboys' found it easier to blend in to this environment.
Perhaps because of the lack of alternatives, many lesbians reported that the sports field and locker rooms had been the places that they had met other lesbians, made friends, found social networks, and got into relationships, in earlier decades.
And of course some of the few, and earliest lesbian and bisexual icons and role models were sportswomen - come back Martina......
Sport and physical activity may also have provided a channel or distraction.
This interest in physical activity has continued to this day, and lesbians have continued to organise sporting and outdoor activities in Birmingham, with Boot Women (walking group) being the longest running lesbian group in Birmingham.
Gay men and sport
The men too, talk of sports, whether as an opportunity to ogle physically fit, semi-naked male bodies, or as a leisure and social opportunity.
The Gay Outdoor Club is one of Birmingham's longest standing community groups and an offshoot, the Moseley Shoals (swimming group) also remains popular.