chapter  7
24 Pages

Non-Heterosexual Sporting Bodies

While Connell (1995) has identifi ed the need to address the issue of confl icting masculinities, it is important to recognise that there has also emerged an understanding of a variety of gay masculinities. In the last chapter, I described the accounts of Simon and Gary and how experiences of their bodies directly shaped social relations in later life. Even though their experiences were different, both men displayed similar readings of masculine identity and it is relevant that although Simon was able to perform hegemonic masculinity, Gary did not consider himself part of either a heterosexual or gay community. The term gay ‘community’ is also problematic, but one that is often used, particularly within the media, to express a shared social identity amongst gay men and women. The term implies some form of homogeneous social institution which in reality does not exist. Several points emerge from this.