Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbians and Homophobia in Sport

Front Cover

Former athlete and coach Pat Griffin makes a provocative and impassioned call for attention to a topic too long avoided by women's sports advocates. In Strong Women, Deep Closets, she provides a critical analysis of discrimination and prejudice against lesbians in sport.

The book is the first to explore the lesbian sporting experience as well as examine homophobia and heterosexism in women's sport. The work is based on theoretical and historical foundations and is written in an academic yet engaging style. Griffin brings to light the experiences of lesbian coaches and athletes in their own words.

Strong Women, Deep Closetsconcludes with Griffin's assessment of the current state of lesbians' rights in athletics, set against the overall social picture in the United States. The author lists obstacles lesbian athletes face in transforming sports and details numerous personal and political strategies for leveling the playing field.

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About the author (1998)

Pat Griffinteaches in the social justice education program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She leads classes and workshops on sexism, racism, heterosexism/homophobia, and other forms of social injustice. Her research and writing interests include heterosexism/homophobia in education and athletics, and lesbian and gay teachers and students.

Pat was one of the first people to openly address the issue of homophobia in sport. She has led seminars on heterosexism/homophobia in sport at numerous colleges and universities, as well as at coaches' and athletic administration conferences. She also serves as a media expert for stories on homophobia in athletics. She is the author of numerous journal articles and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers.

Pat played basketball at the University of Maryland and coached high school basketball in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was a member of the United States Field Hockey squad in 1970-71 and went on to coach swimming at the University of Massachusetts. She won a bronze medal in triathlon at the Gay Games IV in 1994. The recipient of the National Girls and Women in Sport Honor Award in 1994, Pat was elected to the New Agenda Northeast Women's Sport Hall of Fame in 1995.

Pat lives in Belchertown, Massachusetts. Her leisure activities include kayaking, tennis, softball, racquetball, weight training, and reading.

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