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by Jessica Carreras
Tim McCloud wants to let the world know that gay men can play sports, despite the ever-popular stereotype. The 31-year-old Royal Oak resident is an avid runner, plays basketball and is manager of the Affirmations kickball team. He stays active both in sports, with volunteer work and with his work with Adcraft Club of Detroit.
1) You’re very involved with LGBT sporting groups. We all know why people work out, but why stay so active this way?
Aside from the health and social benefits of staying active, LBGT sporting groups really offer an added level of comaradery and friendship that often lasts long after the sport season ends.
2) What message do you think being a gay man who is good at sports says to people who meet you?
Hopefully it’s that gay men can play sports. The sports world in general has been slow to accept and in many cases discriminates against LGBT athletes (on all levels). I believe that those of us who are out and visible players in community sports can help speed up the eventual shift in beliefs.
3) What other volunteer efforts are you involved in?
Aside from several of the key Triangle Foundatin and Affirmations programs and events, I have been involved with several political and community-based efforts. I have also helped run Read Aloud and Project Playground which are two volunteer programs organized by Adcraft, the professional organization I belong to.
4) Why are you so passionate about the sports teams at the Affirmations LGBT community center?
Typically, most amateur or community sports teams are sponsored by businesses. By playing on an Affirmations team, you can help a vitally important non-profit organization maintain their visibility.
5) You won the first-ever Sports Award at the LGBT community’s Pride Banquet in June of this year. What did winning that mean to you?
I was so honored to win the Sports Award. Although I was feeling slightly insignificant winning a Pride Award among such a stellar group of volunteers, activists and supporters, it was recognition for an often overlooked area of GLBT life.
Sports initiatives are (understandably) lower priorities when it comes to issues or needs of the LGBT population – but they are still necessary. This is the way I see it: In my five seasons of managing the Affirmations Kickball team on the Oak Park City League, we’ve played against approximately 1,300 other potential voters who might have a more favorable opinion of LGBT athletes (even if they lost the game).
To get involved with Affirmations’ sports teams, visit http://www.goaffirmations.org.