Artist’s queer Newfoundland Hockey League spun new yarn to tackle homophobia in sports

Ever heard of St. John’s sissy? Cape Brook Queens? Accidental flame?

If you are a strict sports fan, maybe not. But these fictional teams and their creators colluded with the traditional hockey metaphor and provided an alternative world called the Queer Newfoundland Hockey League.

The league is the brainchild of artist Lucas Morneau. He has created 14 teams, each with crocheted jerseys and vintage-toned carpets, as well as from Newfoundland and Labrador (from Nain Nancys to Ferryland). Fairies) and hockey’s detailed “cards” that mark players and textile goalkeeper masks.

Growing up in Corner Brook, the Morneau TV always played hockey.He recalled watching the radio happily when he was a child, especially Coach’s corner Commentary and opinionated host Don Cherry, but his enthusiasm gradually faded as he got older.

“As I grew up, I became more and more aware of the language that Tang used to devalue or deprive many players of masculinity-calling those players who refused to fight, such as’sissy’ and’pansies,'” Mo Noel says he now lives in Sackville, New Hampshire

“As I grew up, it really bothered me, and gradually realized that I was strange.”

Cherries from Coach’s corner 2019 year For anti-immigration comments, Mono found inspiration.

“I want to find a fundamental way in which I can talk about homophobia in sports-especially domineering masculinity-and how this affects the mental health of players and fans,” he told CBC Radio Weekend morning.

The Come By Chance Flamers is one of 14 fictitious teams created by Morneau for his Queer Newfoundland Hockey League to discuss homophobia in sports. He started crocheting jerseys in the winter of 2020. (Submitted by Lucas Mono)

Morneau began knitting jerseys in the winter of 2020, and his work has now been recognized by The Rooms, the largest public cultural space in Newfoundland and Labrador. It bought his St. John’s Sissies jersey, which was made of drag queen wool and pantyhose for collection.

“It was a difficult choice,” said Mireille Eagan, curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, about which team to choose. The selection committee finally chose the Sissies jersey because it is related to Cherry’s language.

“Lucas Mono is adopting the word, he is accepting the word, he is turning the word into a powerful word,” she said.

“So that’s why this work is important. This is a change, this is a slight change, and it’s a fundamental change around hockey and masculinity and cultural concepts.”

Parody and social criticism

Before participating in QNHL, he was already proficient in crocheting—Morneau had crocheted drag queen-mime actor costumes, and other previous works—he added crocheting skills to his textiles in team sports. Halfway through the project, he hired an assistant, Libbie Farrell, to collaborate and complete the work, which was too laborious.

His QNHL often uses humor to express opinions.For example, his logo for François Fruits is a silly pineapple, reminiscent of French! The children’s TV program of the 1980s was accompanied by a term that was often used as homophobic slander.

Egan said Mono’s camp humor is very effective.

“It relieves serious social discussions and serious social criticism through humor, so it is easier to swallow,” she said.

Morneau said his family in Corner Brook supported his entire project. “They like it,” he said.

He said that his father sometimes helped him choose potential team names, and his 90-year-old grandfather often laughed at the results.

“This is something that brings my family together, even though it is a very difficult topic,” Mono said.

Morneau grew up in Corner Brook and now lives in Sackville, NB. He said that the project “has brought my family together, even though this is a very difficult topic”. (Submitted by Lucas Mono)

He said that QNHL also caused some liquidation of the Mono family, because relatives realized that some of the words they used in random conversations in another era were “actually derogatory terms rooted in homophobia. Know the origin of these words,” he said.

Morneau used the Bonavista Buggers jersey as an example. The term is sometimes used to refer to someone pestering others. “But in reality, this is a homophobic attack,” he said.

“And I think letting people understand certain terms and their history is also an important part of this project.”

The ever-changing world of professional sports

Morneau’s criticism of crochet extends to ideas about what professional athletes can and cannot say.

“Players are really not allowed to talk about their mental health issues, their personal struggles-whether it be their sexual orientation, family issues, etc.,” he said.

“And I think it’s important to create an environment around the players to make sure they feel comfortable. Because if [you’re] It’s uncomfortable to be yourself, you feel that you have to hide everything, you just internalize things. And this will only make everything worse. “

In June, the Nashville Predators draft pick Luke Prokop (Luke Prokop) became the first NHL player to sign Coming out as a gayMorneau said that this together with other efforts in the professional sports field (such as the You Can Play organization that promotes LGBTQ athletes and leagues) shows some highlights and progress.

“I think sports culture is undergoing greater dialogue. To be successful in the future, it needs to become more inclusive,” he said. “Otherwise, it will really be closed to a small group of people.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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