The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is less than a week away. Hosts, defending champions and the most successful side in the history of the tournament, will once again head into the latest edition as prime contenders to retain their title, and one of the players on which their chances will be hinged is the current No.1 ranked T20I bowler in the world, Megan Schutt.
Schutt has been the leader of the Aussie pace bowling unit for some time now but her leadership skills are not merely restricted on a cricket field. Schutt, who has faced vitriolic attacks ever since she came out as a lesbian a few years ago, championed the campaign for legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia.
Schutt was vilified by the society for being a lesbian but that did not deter the straight-talking cricketer to marry her girlfriend Jess Hollyoake, despite 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.
Megan Schutt left disappointed by Marcus Stoinis and James Pattinson
But, lately, Schutt has been left disappointed after two Australian players James Pattinson and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, were sanctioned for hurling homophobic slur. Schutt feels that such incidents highlight the importance of 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 bad 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 di**head?” she added.
Megan Schutt wants men to be more receptive to homosexuality
“I haven’t been attacked for being a lesbian but I know men that have been for being gay. 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,” admitted Schutt.
Schutt reminisced about the harassment she faced after coming out in the public as a lesbian and also revealed that she wanted to lead to same-sex marriage campaign, not only for herself but for the entire community in general.
“It was honestly a pretty horrific time, I got called some really nasty things. The usual stuff was going 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 revealed.
“And that was why I wanted to campaign (for legalizing 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,” she added. Schutt’s efforts were finally rewarded when same-sex marriage was finally legalized in Australia in 2017.
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