Proud to Play
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Proud to Play

Canadian LGBTQ+ athletes who made history

By Erin Silver

$24.95 Paperback
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The 2018 Winter Olympics marked a milestone for LGBTQ+ athletes. Thirteen athletes out of 3,000 competitors were out and proud — nearly double the number who felt comfortable sharing their sexuality four years earlier at the Sochi Games. Many athletes stay closeted for their entire sports careers, often unable to compete at their highest ability because of the shame and self-doubt they feel in not being true to their orientation or identity. But coming out still means facing harassment from fans, teammates, opponents, and the media, and a lack of sponsorship opportunities. While organizations like You Can Play, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Egale Canada have made progress in recent years in promoting inclusivity at the grassroots and elite sporting levels, there is still much work to be done to ensure all athletes feel safe being their authentic selves.

Athletes profiled include swimmer Mark Tewksbury, rhythmic gymnast Rose Cossar, professional hockey player Brock McGillis, speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, pairs figure skater Eric Radford, volleyball players Betty Baxter and Christopher Voth and hockey player Angela James.

Generously illustrated with photographs and given context by an overview of the history of LGBTQ+ athletes in Canada, this book will make all young sports enthusiasts and competitors proud to play.


Winner - OLA Best Bets - 2021

Commended - Recommended Read - TD Summer Reading Club - 2021

Nominated - Rocky Mountain Book Awards - 2022

"A book that needs to find its way into school libraries all over Canada, to ensure all readers know they have the right to play and enjoy sports."

- Storytime with Stephanie

"An engaging read."

- Canadian Children's Book Centre Book News

"Will appeal to kids participating in sports at all levels."

- Canadian Children's Book Centre Book News

"A powerful reminder that change is possible and the world of sports can indeed move forward to become more accepting and supportive of LGBTQ+ people."

- CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Readers are shown examples of success and acceptance, proving that change is possible, even in spaces where there is a long history of prejudice and intolerance."

- CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Sure to be a hit with young readers interested in sports, LGBTQ+ history (and the present), and biographies."

- CM: Canadian Review of Materials

This compilation of stories of suffering and success follow some of Canada's LGBTQ+ athletes as they strive to do their best and compete while also struggling with being true to themselves.

- Canadian Teacher Magazine

ERIN SILVER has been writing professionally for almost 20 years. She has a degree in journalism and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Today's Parent, The Globe and Mail and many other national magazines and newspapers. She has also blogged for several media outlets including Huffington Post. Erin's picture book, The Slap Shot, was named a finalist in the 2017 CANSCAIP Writing for Children Competition. She also won the bronze medal in the Common Deer Press Uncommon Quest Contest. Erin lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 112 pages
Publication Date: 19th January 2021
ISBN: 9781459415126
Format: 9in x 8.5in
75 colour photographs

BISAC Code:  JNF007100, JNF038040
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 10 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 5.5


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