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‘We have angry hairy bears, sassy queens, seasoned queer hockey players and everything in between’

At the west coast Australian Perth Pythons LGBTI Hockey club, you can be exactly who you want to be.

And that’s just part of the reason why they’ve been showing their sticks off – in their naked calendar.

Speaking to Gay Star News the Perth Pythons Secretary Leo Nelson says The Pythons are more than just a sports club:

‘We are also a group of great friends. We have angry hairy bears, sassy queens, seasoned queer hockey players and everything in between.’

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Nelson adds: ‘I like to think we are smashing stereotypes, but I throw in the occasional squeal and high kick, just for fun!’

Like others related club calendars – namely the Warwick Rowers which at GSN we may have mentioned once or twice; the Pythons are getting naked in the name of LGBTI inclusivity in sport.

‘We came up with the 2018 Pride in Hockey Calendar as a way to promote the idea that anyone can play hockey. Since we have launched the calendar we have received so many heartwarming messages of support from around the world.’

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‘We will be sharing the profits from our calendar with a local queer media company, Out in Perth,’ Nelson explains. ‘They are committed to reporting on queer sports and align with our goal of making sports more inclusive.’

Out in Perth is a free local monthly newspaper focusing on diversity in sexuality and gender.

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Nelson explains how many players, also are part of other teams. But as a club, they offer a safe and fun environment to feel safe as LGBTI and play:

‘We play in the more casual social summer season, and encourage LGBTI people to come and give hockey a go. 80% of our players had never picked up a stick before they had joined.’

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The calendar was made in response to a statistic from the Out on the fields study, which found that 80% of participants had experienced or witnessed homophobia while playing or watching sport.

They braved a chilly 6 am Swanbourne Beach in the western coastal suburb of Perth for their shoot.

And it’s all to prove that making sports more inclusive is important to them. We totally believe they mean it too.

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