By: Erica Kromm, Calgary Inferno, Canadian Women’s Hockey League
Hockey has always been a place where I’ve felt like I’ve been able to be my true self. On the ice, it’s just you and your teammates, and you have one common goal. That’s all that matters. Being at the rink — lacing up skates, shooting pucks — has always felt like home to me. I think that’s what I love the most about it. It just feels right, and where I belong.
I first came out to a few of my teammates in high school, and then to everyone else my second year of university. For all of the worry I put into it, I was relieved when no one really cared either way about my personal life. I think I had it easy. I know that being a gay male athlete, in just about any sport, would be very difficult given the masculinity society has associated with most sports.
This is a big reason why I am excited to be a part of the Athlete Ally community: I believe it’s important to break down that wall of masculinity that surrounds sports. It’s important that we recognize anyone can be a fantastic, aggressive, or passionate athlete, regardless of who they love or how “masculine”/“feminine” they are. When you put on the gear and go to battle for and with your teammates, that’s all that matters, and all that should matter to anyone else.