chapter  5
Exploring the limits of queer and sport: Gay men playing tennis
ByIAN WELLARD
Pages 14

I was first introduced to queer theory after drawing upon Butler’s (1993) concept of performativity whilst exploring performances of masculinity within the context of mainstream (heteronormative) and gay sports within the UK.1 In this research, I had initially expected the emergence of gay sports to provide some form of challenge to mainstream sports, where hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1995, 2000) continues to prevail. According to Butler (1993), the main exercise of queer theory is to expose ‘queer acts’ which may disrupt the formulation of normative gender. If this is the case, then it could be claimed that the initial establishment of a group set up for gay men and women to play sport may be considered a queer act. However, Butler goes on to suggest that queer acts need to make people renegotiate the way in which they read public signs.