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Contest to spotlight soccer homophobia

The director of Eleven Men Out, the 2005 film about a soccer player who reveals that he’s gay and is promptly kicked off his team, is among the judges of a poster competition spotlighting homophobia in soccer. (The DVD was recently reviewed by Cyd Zeigler.) The contest is being conducted by an Austrian group to coincide with UEFA EURO 2008, the European championships being held in Austria and Switzerland in June.

Qwien, a center for gay and lesbian history and culture based in Vienna, said in a statement: “Football is the last bastion, where the clichés about 'real men' can be lived out, on the field as well in the fan sections. Bad play is termed 'feminine...' hesitant or poor players are referred to as 'sissies' or 'faggots' and the opponents berated as 'fags.'"

The statement goes on to say that “By issuing a Europe-wide poster competition we are making an otherwise taboo topic public” during EURO 2008. The deadline for entries is the end of May. Besides Eleven Men Out director Robert L. Douglas, the jury includes openly gay singer Jimmy Somerville (formerly of Bronski Beat).

Thanks to my man in Toronto, Outsports poster canmark, for the tip. -- Joe Guckin