The club attracts local Hongkongers, making Calanca the only non-Cantonese speaking player. He is forced to rely on his teammates for translations during huddles and coaching sessions. His decisions to start rugby and join a local team, rather than one filled with fellow expats, is not the only unique aspect to his story. Calanca is gay, and before coming to Hong Kong had heard that the city’s attitudes towards the LGBT community was not open.
“I was expecting to have a few issues here and there with the teammates and people in sports, but it turned out to be a very smooth process,” Calanca said. “I was lucky to be in a very supportive club, I was very lucky to have understanding and open minded people around me.”
Calanca has never come out to his teammates. They simply accepted him for who he is. In fact, even the idea of coming out is strange to Calanca, as straight people are not expected to declare their sexuality. “I think that is the direction we are going, that we don’t have to classify or label people,” he said.
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