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Inaugural Pride Cup

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The inaugural Pride Cup was played between the Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction Australian Rules football clubs on Saturday 3rd May. I was there (after receiving an email from one of the players) and I took a few photos. I'm uploading them over the next few days into my Australian Rules Football gallery over at GA.

The Pride Cup is an example of a grassroots movement against homophobia. One of the major driving forces behind its creation is Jason Ball -- an openly gay player for Yarra Glen. The official footy record booklet for the competition from the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football and Netball League included a full page article under the heading of Country football takes on the homophobia challenge with pride.

Before the game, both teams lined up and a few words were said regarding the occasion. The minister of the local Uniting Church then spoke for a couple of minutes before the national anthem was sung. The game then started.

It turned out to be a largely one-sided affair. Yarra Glen dominated the game. I left at 3/4 time as I had to get home, but at that point in the game, Yarra Glen had kicked 14 goals to Yarra Junctions 1...

The game made the national newspapers even though it was only a local competition, not an national or even statewide one. :smile: It was also supported by the AFL (Australian Football League), the very top level of Australian Rules Football competition.

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I am hardly a sports fan, but I can feel Graeme's excitement for having attended this event. The first of anything, especially something in support of a cause we hold dear, is a moment to remember.

I was fortunate enough to attend the first Gay Games in 1982. It was held in San Francisco just as the city was beginning to embrace the gay community. I actually wanted to go because Tina Turner performed, but the opening parades were so moving and heartfelt by the crowd. Nothing like 14,000 LGBT people in one stadium, it was electric.

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Thanks, Chris. Yes, it was exciting, but in many ways that was because of how low-key it was. The reason for people being there was acknowledged and there were some banners around, but otherwise it was just another suburban football match. There were no negative reactions that I saw. I saw a few guys that I suspected as being gay (including at least one couple), but they were just more faces in the crowd. Nothing special. :smile:

And that's the way I hope it will always be in the future -- nothing special :smile:

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