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Sports and Masks

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Specifically, ice hockey and goalie masks. Specifically, specifically, my goalie mask.

 

The LGBT+ community is not very visible in sports, at the professional level all the way down to recreational leagues.  Hockey in particular is not very welcoming to people that aren't straight, cisgendered, and heterosexual. I love hockey. But I hate that this sport I love is so hostile, whether passively or actively, to people like me. It's hard to make change when the culture surrounding the sport is so... I'm struggling to find a word for it. Stubborn?

 

Consider that, in hockey, you can get in a bare knuckle brawl with someone and only serve a five minute penalty, but you won't see players trying the same once the game is over. You'll have players that are perfectly nice people in the dressing room, but are the just about the dirtiest players you've ever seen. They know that certain behaviour they get away with during a game is unacceptable everywhere else, but that kind of thinking lets pockets of intolerance and bigotry persist in the lives of people that are otherwise very open and accepting. Every sport is like that, to a degree, but hockey moreso than others it would seem.

 

All of which is a very roundabout way of getting to my point. Ever since hockey goalies started wearing masks, they've been getting them painted. Professional goalies normally get mask art associated with their team, but for recreational players like myself mask art can be all over the place. I started playing net last year to see how I liked it. Turns out I love it, and I figure it's about time I get my mask painted.

 

I'm not out to my family or friends. But hockey is a place where I feel safe, and if I do come out to people having hockey be a part of that conversation will make things easier for me. And, maybe, seeing a goaltender with some aroace artwork on his mask will encourage other people to come out as well. Maybe this can be my small part to help make our community a little more visible.

 

I won't be personally painting my mask; I'm not much of an artist and I don't have the equipment in any case. However, I would like to bring some reference material to the artist that is painting my mask. This: https://i.imgur.com/6joukhF.jpg is what I have so far. My mask won't be going in until late March or early April so I have lots of time to really nail down something that speaks to me, and I thought it would be remiss not to ask around and see what ideas other aromantics and asexuals have.

 

So... hi. My name is Chris. Let's talk.

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Zenzencat104

Welcome, have cake!🍰🎂

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Remmirath

Sounds like a great idea! Also, welcome. :D

 

If I were designing such a thing, I'd probably play around with the Ace of Spades card theme (either a full card or just the emblem) along with the purple, grey and white, and maybe get some ice effects in there, too. Are you thinking something more on the complex end of things or more on the simple graphic end of things?

 

I've always gotten the impression that at least in the US, hockey is actually better about that sort of thing than the other "big four" sports -- but then, I've never paid much attention to the other three, aside from grumbling if football pre-empts something I'm actually interested in. It does appear to be an unfortunately widespread problem.

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12 hours ago, Remmirath said:

Sounds like a great idea! Also, welcome. :D

 

If I were designing such a thing, I'd probably play around with the Ace of Spades card theme (either a full card or just the emblem) along with the purple, grey and white, and maybe get some ice effects in there, too. Are you thinking something more on the complex end of things or more on the simple graphic end of things?

 

I've always gotten the impression that at least in the US, hockey is actually better about that sort of thing than the other "big four" sports -- but then, I've never paid much attention to the other three, aside from grumbling if football pre-empts something I'm actually interested in. It does appear to be an unfortunately widespread problem.

I think I'll put an Ace of Spades playing card - with the card background coloured in the four bar black/grey/white/purple pattern - on the backplate of the helmet. It's a fairly large, comparatively flat surface, and shouldn't be getting any puck marks on it.

 

I am leaning more towards the "simple" end of things (not necessarily undetailed, mind you): large patterns and bold features. An ice-cracking pattern throughout the purple might look good, and the letters could be made to look like chunks taken out of the "ice".

 

I think the perception that hockey in the US is better about being inclusive than the NFL/NBA/MLB is because it's less popular. People don't think about it all that often, if at all, so they don't associate it with the kinds of public incidents that the other professional leagues get swept up in.

Edited by Camicon
forgot a bit

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Remmirath

Oh yeah, the backplate should work out really well for that. Simple sounds like a good way to go, really; that would read better from a distance. I like the idea of the letters looking like chunks taken out of the ice -- that should look neat!

 

That could be, about the perception. Mind, I know next to nothing about the NFL/NBA/MLB (yeah, kind of the opposite of most of the rest of America there), although it's impossible to avoid news coverage of them entirely (especially the NFL), so I'm mostly going based on what I know of the NHL as opposed to what I see occasionally coming from the other three. News being what it is, they probably do tend to focus on the worst things, so it may well be that I'm only seeing the bad from the other three without any good to balance it out. Then too, living where I do, my perception of football and basketball is inevitably coloured by the college level (I live right by a university which is rather obsessed by its football and basketball teams), so it might be that it's generally worse across the board at the college level, particularly amongst college football fans, and I'm making assumptions based on that.

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Camicon

Second draft: http://i.imgur.com/PQ23bUe.jpg

 

Ice pattern isn't great, I'd expect the artist will do something more like this Stephane Fiset mask (http://www.classicauctions.net/ItemImages/000123/123972a_lg.jpeg), the kind of detailing where the Nordiques logo is busting through the ice blocks. But it's enough to give a decent feel, I think.

 

I think the biggest thing with hockey is that the culture problems it has are more hidden than with other sports.  There's a very strong attitude of "what happens on the ice, stays on the ice", and players are very disinclined to focus on the individual over the team. Particularly if they are the individual in question (it's actually kind of funny once you notice it, but almost all hockey players interview in exactly the same way. It's always "team this" and "we that", even if those players are superstars that carried their team through the game). That all serves to suppress the discussion of issues that affect a minority of players. The thinking goes that players only throw slurs at each other on the ice so you don't talk about it off the ice, and in any event it isn't the place of one person to make themselves the focus of attention because they - of all the players on the team - were deeply insulted by those slurs.

 

You don't get the same kind of "what happens here stays here" attitude in other sports. Football doesn't have the same kind of behavioural code-switching that hockey does, and a big part of boxing and MMA is pre-bout feud-hype. Basketball and baseball games pivot on a few key players, so that "team over individual" aspect is really diminished.

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swirl_of_blue

I love what you're doing, and will be very interested in seeing how your project progresses! Especially the attitudes of people if asexuality actually comes up between players, since I've seen a lot of "(heterosexual) virility=masculinity=strength" stereotyping in sports. I can remember a minor episode in media some years ago about a big hockey personality here in Finland (officially unnamed, but everyone knows who it really was) saying there "can be no gay hockey players, because they're 'meek like mice' and people like that can't make it in hockey. And they do not belong in this sport or our locker rooms" and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same attitude extended to aces. I've read how many ace men have encountered having their masculinity denied because of their lack of interest in sex, and I couldn't see how it would be any easier in sports. I hope you haven't enountered anything like that and that it also won't happen in the future!

 

If I had a chance to incorporate something about asexuality into my own playing uniform I would love to do it, but I play football and there's no way to personalize our equipment. The only thing I could do would be to change my shoelaces from the generic black ones, but I've been too shy to even get rainbow ones for LGBT+ visibility and I don't know if even that would be considered too much of a statement.

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8 hours ago, swirl_of_blue said:

*snip*

 

If I had a chance to incorporate something about asexuality into my own playing uniform I would love to do it, but I play football and there's no way to personalize our equipment. The only thing I could do would be to change my shoelaces from the generic black ones, but I've been too shy to even get rainbow ones for LGBT+ visibility and I don't know if even that would be considered too much of a statement.

Perhaps you could get a customized pattern on your gloves? When I played on my high school team, I remember guys ordering gloves with custom colours on them. Or do you mean "soccer" football, not "gridiron" football? Could you wear a headband while playing?

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Third draft: https://i.imgur.com/6FQKYv8.jpg

 

Whipped this up just tonight, when the inspiration struck. Digging the comic-style dot images. I think this is my favourite so far. Not flashy, simple elements, but not forgettable.

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Fourth draft: https://i.imgur.com/89OE7xW.jpg

 

New design, new aesthetic, darker shade of purple. Is the logo at the top recognizable as "AVEN"? I can't really look at it with an objective eye, given I made the thing.

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InquisitivePhilosopher
On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 10:59 PM, Camicon said:

...The LGBT+ community is not very visible in sports, at the professional level all the way down to recreational leagues.  Hockey in particular is not very welcoming to people that aren't straight, cisgendered, and heterosexual. I love hockey. But I hate that this sport I love is so hostile, whether passively or actively, to people like me...Consider that, in hockey, you can get in a bare knuckle brawl with someone and only serve a five minute penalty, but you won't see players trying the same once the game is over. You'll have players that are perfectly nice people in the dressing room, but are the just about the dirtiest players you've ever seen. They know that certain behaviour they get away with during a game is unacceptable everywhere else, but that kind of thinking lets pockets of intolerance and bigotry persist in the lives of people that are otherwise very open and accepting. Every sport is like that, to a degree, but hockey moreso than others it would seem.

Hi, Chris! That's neat that you play hockey. I grew up skating and played street hockey with friends. I thought about trying out for an adult, amateur league, since skating fast came more easily to me than advanced jumps and spins, but my mother was afraid I'd get injured (which I didn't want, either), so I gave up that idea; I watched the amateur team practice and they were made up of older adults in their 40s who were new at skating, so who knows: I might've not been deemed fit for the team anyway, being decades younger than everyone else and not a novice at skating.

 

Yeah, I understand what you mean about not too many LGBT+ athletes being able to come out; it, apparently is, and was, like that even for male figure skating. I was disappointed to hear that one of my favorite figure skaters, who seemed like a nice, fun guy admitted that he was homophobic and would make comments at the rink (he said it was because he, like most male figure skaters, grew up being called gay and was tired of it.) Then he added that being friends with other gay coaches and skaters sort of had helped him learn to overcome his homophobia. https://www.buzzfeed.com/blairbraverman/why-is-the-worlds-gayest-sport-stuck-in-the-closet?utm_term=.hgw5gGrLv#.sw09wr2g5

 

When watching professional hockey, I've seen players get into fist fights near the last 20 seconds of games, where the referees just separated players from both sides and didn't give out any penalties. :rolleyes: Whenever there are fist fights during games, I think, "Why're you guys doing that? Why not just focus on playing the game?"

 

Your helmet sounds like a cool idea; I'd hope it's safe for you to do that, that you wouldn't get flack from either your teammates or other players for it. At first I thought, "I can see that reads 'AVEN,' but then I started to see it objectively, that, since the 'A' and the 'V' are sort of enmeshed together and the other letters aren't, it's possible that other people who're unfamiliar with AVEN might accidently read it as "NEN."

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5 hours ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

Your helmet sounds like a cool idea; I'd hope it's safe for you to do that, that you wouldn't get flack from either your teammates or other players for it. At first I thought, "I can see that reads 'AVEN,' but then I started to see it objectively, that, since the 'A' and the 'V' are sort of enmeshed together and the other letters aren't, it's possible that other people who're unfamiliar with AVEN might accidently read it as "NEN."

Thanks! If ice hockey is still something you're interested in, most rec leagues have beginner divisions, and nobody ever gets cut for a rec league team, because lots of people only start playing when they're adults. You could also check out roller hockey,or ball hockey, if ice is in short supply where you live.

 

Hmm. Maybe if I widen the gap between the letters. Or divide the shared line of the "A" and "V" parallel along the midway, rather than perpendicular up at the top.

 

Like so: https://i.imgur.com/wb6iQyC.jpg

Edited by Camicon
add pic

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InquisitivePhilosopher

:) Your new logo looks better, now that it separates the "A" and "V" a little more.

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On 12/8/2017 at 7:46 PM, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

:) Your new logo looks better, now that it separates the "A" and "V" a little more.

Thanks!

 

Some slight edits: https://i.imgur.com/XNRQLFM.jpg

 

Tightened up the purple so it more closely follows the bottom edge of the mask and right up to the ears. Did away with the black-grey gradient and went with a sharper transition that begins near the eyebrow and sweeps back along the edge of the forehead Shortened the "N" in "AVEN" so it should better match the width of the other letters, and added a slight curve to the logo to simulate how it would look on the helmet.

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Diamond Ace of Hearts

I missed this thread when it first happened. Just wanted to say welcome from a fellow goalie (I'm soccer, but still, I feel like there's a fraternity of goalkeepers that transcends individual sports; we are the few, the proud, the possibly insane) and I'm liking your helmet designs. I wish I had more opportunities to personalise my gear because my repping of asexuality is a bit more lowkey at the moment; the soccer boots I wear are from the Adidas "ace" range.  :D

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