Hurling and camogie

GAA can do more to support LGBT inclusion: Jane Adams

Former Antrim camogie star Jane Adams admits she struggled to accept her sexuality during her playing days, and still sees barriers that have to be broken down within the GAA. Picture by Hugh Russell
Neil Loughran

FORMER Antrim camogie star Jane Adams feels the GAA is “moving in the right direction” - but believes more can still be done to support inclusion of the LGBT community within the association.

Adams admits she struggled to accept her sexuality during her playing days and, for all the strides that have been made in recent times, still sees barriers that have to be broken down over time.

“I don’t think there’s enough being done because when it is talked about, it’s still talked about as if it’s a taboo. But they are trying,” said the former Rossa ace, who led the west Belfast club to an All-Ireland senior title in 2008.

“This is Pride month, the GPA and the women’s GPA have changed their badge to a rainbow. Even those small things show that, slowly, we’re going in the right direction. It might not be where we want it to be right now, but it’s moving in the right direction.

“I know lots of girls and fellas within the GAA who are gay but whether or not they will ever come out is entirely up to them. All I can say to them is that, when you do, when you accept yourself, it’s so much easier and life is so much better.

“When I was younger I didn’t want to be talking about being gay, I didn’t want my team-mates to think it. Even now there are issues around the language used in connection with it, so there are still barriers to be broken down.

“Everybody should be looked at as equal. That is always how I have looked at life – I’ve never thought I was better than anybody else, I’ve never thought I’m any worse than anybody else.

“Gay, straight, whatever you are, nobody should be treated differently. But we’ll get there. We will move forward.”

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Hurling and camogie