The culture in and around hockey has been a hot topic of discussion here at Outsports and across the LGBTQ-sports landscape for years. On some levels the sport is ahead of its time, with LGBTQ events across the NHL, thanks in large part to the guidance of You Can Play, as well as vocal support from teams and players across college hockey.

There are also reports and anecdotes of a culture where being different or standing out from the crowd is frowned upon. Some say homophobia is widespread in men’s hockey, others say it’s not.

Thursday night, Outsports hosted a conversation with four players, coaches and referees across men’s hockey who have come out recently and are still connected to the sport. They shared their experiences in the locker room, the reactions of teammates and colleagues, as well as talked about the shifting dynamics on a hockey team when a player comes out as gay or bi. You can watch the conversation on YouTube or Facebook.

Joining the conversation were four people participating in men’s hockey at various levels either today or in the past year, to give current perspectives inside the sport:

  • Adam Fyrer, player at Wentworth Institute of Technology, formerly Univ. of New Haven
  • Gordie Mitchard, referee and former player at Univ. of Iowa
  • Stephen Finkel, player at St. Thomas Aquinas College, also referees and coaches
  • Brock Weston, former player at Marian Univ.

Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski moderated the conversation, which was recorded and posted on YouTube and Facebook.