Sydney: A fine swing bowler for Australia’s women’s cricket team and a champion of same-sex marriage, Megan Schutt is upset with her male counterparts James Pattinson and Marcus Stoinis’ recent homophobic slurs.
She wants men to be more receptive towards homosexuality as they are ‘attacked’ more for being gay.
Heading into the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup as the number one bowler in the format, Schutt faced a volley of vitriolic attacks after she came out as a lesbian a few years ago.
Undeterred, the straight-talking cricketer went on to marry her girlfriend Jess Hollyoake, finding happiness after being called a paedophile and asked to go to hell.
“It was a pretty horrible thing. I remember putting out a rainbow flag (it represents LGBT pride) on our balcony and Jess didn’t want to have that up there at the time. She said, what if someone targets our house because of that?” Schutt was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“And I said, ‘We can’t hide, this is a time to show support for everyone else around us’. No one who is trying to fight for same-sex marriage is having a good time right now so we need to stick together more than ever,” she added.
She was asked about the recent incidents in which two Australian players, Pattinson and Stoinis, were sanctioned for homophobic slurs on the field. According to her, these incidents highlight the need for further awareness and education.
“I think it’s important to talk about it. I wasn’t angry as much as I was disappointed, which is such a dad thing to say. It’s disappointing that we still use that language, and I don’t believe that those boys actually are homophobic, I truly don’t,” she said. “And they wouldn’t be saying it with that intent, but they’re still using the wrong words. Why can’t you just call someone a dickhead?”
Schutt said men are attacked more for being gay.
“I haven’t been attacked for being a lesbian but I know men that have been for being gay,” she said. “And the fact that it’s always men that are still using those derogatory terms is the most disappointing part of it because they’re going to have gay friends, whether they’re out to them or not.”
On the field, Schutt is known for her change of pace and an ability to seam and swing the ball. She reminisced about the time when she would be judged, abused for coming out in the open about her personal life.
“It was honestly a pretty horrific time, I got called some really nasty things. The usual stuff was go to hell and I don’t really care that much, but I had people who call you (a) paedophile or say you’re worse than an animal and just things that are really extreme,” she said. “And that was why I wanted to campaign (for legalising same-sex marriage), obviously for myself, but for everybody else in the sense that I just could not and still can’t really understand hatred.”
Her efforts were rewarded when same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017.