AFL's Jason Ball says time to wipe out homophobia

Photo: Ali Bakhtiarvandi

About 600 people rallied for marriage equality in Melbourne on November 24. Other rallies took part around Australia.

Jason Ball, the first openly queer AFL player, was a guest speaker at the event.

"I figured I was gay when I was 16 years old," he said. "I knew that I would be treated differently. I was terrified I would disappoint my family. It was no surprise to me that queer and transgender youth are six times [more] likely to suffer depression or contemplate suicide. I wanted to be myself.

"The football club felt like the only place I couldn't do this. I went public to show it doesn't have to be like that. Tolerance and support can come from the places you expect it the least.

"If Yarra Glen Football club is ready for change and the AFL and its supporters are ready to take a stand against homophobia, then what the hell are our politicians in Canberra waiting for? The time to wipe out homophobia has come."

Photos: Ali Bakhtiarvandi

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.