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Friday media watch: Nepal, Scott Heggart, lesbians on ice

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Sunil Babu Pant in Nepal

The story of Nepal's first "gay Olympics" got a lot of attention from the mainstream press this week:

  • The Wall Street Journal:
    “Welcome to South Asia’s Most LGBT-Friendly Country” – this may well become the new motto for Nepal, which is set to host the region’s first sports competition for the lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender community.
  • Huffington Post:
    Almost 15 years later, Nepal is a new country today. With changed political leadership and social reforms, the country once known for its mountains and the Maoist conflict is now recognized for its gay rights movement.
  • The Telegraph:
    Nepal is a conservative, Hindu country which nonetheless has some of the most progressive policies on homosexuality in Asia. A landmark 2007 court ruling ordered the government to enact laws guaranteeing the rights of gays.

Various pubs (particularly in Canada) also gravitated to young hockey player in Canada Scott Heggart, who came out:

  • The Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen:
    But as a young athlete, steeped in the machismo of sport, where "about the worst thing" is to be a "fag" or a "homo," there was one conversation that was even harder. Telling his teammates he was gay.
  • CafeMom's The Stir:
    I wish that every time we heard another horrible story about a gay teen who was bullied to the point of suicide or kidnapped in the night and sent to a behavior modification "boot camp" we could immediately hear about a kid like Scott Heggart.
  • Ottawa Citizen has a good follow-up:
    He told his parents he planned to post one video each day for the next year as he documented his experience of coming out as a gay jock. He hoped he could work out his anxieties anonymously online, as well as solicit support from others who had already walked this path. "Our reaction was total fear because the Internet can be a scary place," says Julie.

And we had some Outsports mentions this week:

  • The New York Daily News article on Tim Tebow:
    Cyd Zeigler, an editor at Outsports, a gay-oriented sports website, sees more to it than that. Tebow’s ties to evangelical Christianity and Focus on the Family, which deeply opposes marriage equality and gay rights legislation, has left him deeply suspicious of the Jets’ backup quarterback. “As a member of a group that has been persecuted by the Christian church for so long, he is hard to take,” Zeigler said.
  • The Daily News also mentioned us for an article about the lesbian couple engaged at an Ottawa Senators game:
    They may have not been the first couple to get engaged at a sports game, but one Canadian couple's sweet moment at an Ottawa Senators game is going viral around the Internet.