Fights that matter

A fight against prejudice and stereotypes

» Sport allows us to meet other people across the boundaries of age, gender, relgion, sexuality and all the other tings we let ourselves believe should put us on opposing sides «

- Raghu

INCLUDED AND RESPECTED

As Raghu stands up to his full height, he looks nothing like the stereotypical rugby player. There’s a calm, friendly demeanour about him, and he has a relatively skinny frame. The only thing that reveals he is indeed a passionate rugby player is the mud he casually wipes off his chin after having taken a dive in the grass. 

In fact, there’s far more than meets the eye to everyone on Raghu’s rugby team, known as the Berlin Bruisers. Because behind the front row - and beyond a cursory first glance of the broad-shouldered men who many would assume as being stereotypical rugby players lies a team with roots in the German capital’s LGBT+ community; a team built around the principles of inclusion and mutual respect.

Sport allows us to meet other people across the boundaries of age, gender, relgion, sexuality and all the other tings we let ourselves believe should put us on opposing sides

— Raghu

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BE AND LOVE YOURSELF

For Raghu, getting involved with the Berlin Bruisers was everything he needed as a newcomer to Berlin; a place characterised by its sense of solidarity and team spirit and where being yourself is the only right way to be, regardless of who you are and who you love.

“In India, homosexuality is an extremely taboo subject, and homosexuals have no rights. The vast majority of those who try to come out experience backlash from both their friends and family. Often, you will instead be pressured into a traditional marriage, or be subjected to religious ceremonies meant to banish the evil spirits inside you. That is, unless you’re sent to a psychiatrist in an attempt to help you out of what many will claim is a phase,” Raghu explained.

It was not until after a year in the company of his colourful team mates from Berlin Bruisers that Rahgu found to be truly at ease with himself that he was comfortable meeting new people without trying to hide who he was or his sexuality. After all, it can be difficult to be true to oneself when living in a society that constantly makes you believe your sexuality deems you inferior by definition.