Date Completed

Winter 2016

Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Although the acceptance rates of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) athletes is growing in society, the gap of understanding athletes in this community is apparent. Previous research has found LGB athletes perform at a higher rate if they are surrounded by those who are supportive and understanding of their perceived lifestyle. Breaking Down Binaries in a Binary World: An Athletic Experience, is a 2-year project to increase knowledge, awareness, and education for collegiate coaches to provide a safer environment for LGB athletes and their straight-ally counterparts. This 4-part curriculum is facilitated by the Title IX coordinator- with the assistance of community advocates- at a selected university. It addresses issues of masculinity in sports, the effect of the gender-binary system, historic landmarks of LGB athletics, oppression, and how to become a better ally to these athletes. This project hopes to increase the understanding of LGB athletes and create a more inclusive and safe environment for all collegiate athletes and staff.


The cirriculum of "Breaking Down Binaries in a Binary World: An Athletic Experience" is the work and property of Heather Denaro. For use of this product, alternative ways to adjust the curriculum to fit specific time restraints or general questions, please email Heather directly at

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Social Work Commons