Good sports

PHOTOS: Belgian rowers strip down to support queer athletes

A group of Belgian rowers is using the power of thirst for a good cause, promoting LGBTQ inclusion in sports with a steamy locker room photoshoot.

Out rower Simon Haerinck launched the initiative, called Same Sport, Different Sexuality, on Instagram, where the first two posts quickly racked up likes.

In the photos, Haerinck poses with straight rowers Niels Raoul Boone, Ruben Claeys, and Henri Steyaert.

The first one shows the guys shirtless with the text “Same Sport Different Sexuality” written on their chests:

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Today we are launching the first part of our campaign “same sport, different sexuality”, to raise awareness about homophobia in sports, which unfortunately is still a taboo. Playing sports should be about having fun and improving your mental and physical health. It’s about escaping the daily stress of school or work. You should not have to worry about your sexual orientation whilst playing the sport you love. This is why we reach out to you! To all straight people playing sports: take a picture with your LGBTQ- teammate to show them your love and acceptance, and post it using our hashtag #samesportdifferentsexuality. We will be collecting all pics on our social media pages. No one should have to hide their sexuality out of fear for their teammates’ reactions. No one should have to be afraid to even start playing sports for this reason. Sport is for everyone so let’s create a place of acceptance. Big thanks to my fellow rowers @claeys_ruben, @nielsraoulboone and @henri__st . Straight guys who truly don’t have a problem with me being gay and accept everyone for who he or she is. Big thanks to our amazing photographer @louiskerckhof and his assistant @nanoialoha , for the great pictures. Big thanks to our MUA @suki_mg_ , a real upcoming talent. Couldn’t have done it without you guys. #same #sport #different #sexuality #sports #straightguy #gay #lgbtq #awereness #instaguy #campaign #taboo #equality #sportlife #love #homophobia #rowing #roeien #sexualorientation @hoscos

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By the second entry in the campaign, they were wearing even less clothing:

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Part 2 of the campaign: the taboo of the locker room and showering together. As a rower I can’t really complain about this. Rowers are very open and accepting. In other sports there is still a bit of work to be done. Fact: 1 in 3 straight soccer players is not comfortable showering next to a LGBTQ- player. I can’t really get my head around this. I don’t see why this could be a problem. Did anyone had a bad experience with this? Or how is the situation in your club? Let me know in the comments below. ? Let’s tackle this problem together. Thank you Pic by @louiskerckhof #sports #rowers #rowing #samesportdifferentsexuality #shower #showerpic #naked #lockerroom #taboo #straight #gay #lgbtq #justpeople #soccer #basketball #tennis @theellenshow

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Speaking to Outsports, Haerinck explained what he hopes to accomplish with the campaign:

“I don’t want to pressure anyone to come out on their team. But if they choose to do so, a sports club should be a place of acceptance. And if they see a lot of straight people take pictures with their queer teammates, maybe they will have the strength to finally be themselves.”