Former athlete and coach Pat Griffin makes a provocative and impassioned call for attention to a topic too long avoided by women`s sports advocates. In Strong Women, Deep Closets, she provides a critical analysis of discrimination and prejudice against lesbians in sport.
The book is the first to explore the lesbian sporting experience as well as examine homophobia and heterosexism in women`s sport. The work is based on theoretical and historical foundations and is written in an academic yet engaging style. Griffin brings to light the experiences of lesbian coaches and athletes in their own words.
Strong Women, Deep Closets concludes with Griffin`s assessment of the current state of lesbians` rights in athletics, set against the overall social picture in the United States. The author lists obstacles lesbian athletes face in transforming sports and details numerous personal and political strategies for leveling the playing field.
Chapter 1. My Journey Home Chapter 2. Sport: Where Men Are Men and Women Are Trespassers Chapter 3. Damaged Mothers, Muscle Molls, Mannish Lesbians, and Predatory Dykes: 100 Years of Scaring Women out of Sport Chapter 4. Leering, Leching, and Low Down: Demonizing Lesbians in Sport Chapter 5. Full Court Press: Defending Women`s Sport Against the Lesbian Boogeywoman Chapter 6. Life in the Shadow of the Lesbian Boogeywoman: The Climate for Lesbians in Sport Chapter 7. We Prey, They Pray? Lesbians and Evangelical Christians in Sport Chapter 8. The Culture of the Closet: Identity-Management Strategies of Lesbian College Coaches and Athletes Chapter 9. Unplayable Lies: Lesbians in Sport Choosing Truth Chapter 10. Love and Community in the Locker Room: Double Trouble or Double Standards? Chapter 11. Opening Minds, Opening Closet Doors: Transforming Women`s Sport
Pat Griffin teaches in the social justice education program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She leads classes and workshops on sexism, racism, heterosexism/homophobia, and other forms of social injustice. Her research and writing interests include heterosexism/homophobia in education and athletics, and lesbian and gay teachers and students.
Pat was one of the first people to openly address the issue of homophobia in sport. She has led seminars on heterosexism/homophobia in sport at numerous colleges and universities, as well as at coaches' and athletic administration conferences. She also serves as a media expert for stories on homophobia in athletics. She is the author of numerous journal articles and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers.
Pat played basketball at the University of Maryland and coached high school basketball in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was a member of the United States Field Hockey squad in 1970-71 and went on to coach swimming at the University of Massachusetts. She won a bronze medal in triathlon at the Gay Games IV in 1994. The recipient of the National Girls and Women in Sport Honor Award in 1994, Pat was elected to the New Agenda Northeast Women's Sport Hall of Fame in 1995.
Pat lives in Belchertown, Massachusetts. Her leisure activities include kayaking, tennis, softball, racquetball, weight training, and reading.
"This is without a doubt the most informed, insightful, engaging and detailed work on lesbian experiences in sport." Don Sabo, PhD Professor, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY
"In this ground-breaking book, Pat Griffin brings the shameful consequences of the long-standing and deep-seated association between women's sports and lesbianism out of the closet without shaming anyone in the process." Mary Jo Kane Director, Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport University of Minnesota