#AuthenticMe: Our annual LGBT+ in sport event

Sports Media LGBT+’s annual event celebrating authenticity in sport returns this week, with special guest speakers

Sports Media LGBT+ is gearing up for its second annual #AuthenticMe event for LGBT+ people and allies in sport, which is being held in London on the evening of Tuesday, October 8.

A year ago, our network staged its first such get-together at BBC Quay House in Salford, with host Katie Gornall joined by speakers Tom Bosworth and Charlie Martin. We were delighted to receive enthusiastic feedback from our audience members, and we vowed to return with a similar event in 2019.

Again taking place in the build-up to National Coming Out Day on October 11, #AuthenticMe is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of LGBT+ people across sport, and learn more about the impact they have through their visibility.

This year’s event, which is supported by the Sports Journalists’ Association and InterMedia UK, will comprise three panel sessions exploring themes of inclusion, and how authenticity can help to boost your performance – whatever your role in the sport that you love.

Our panel sessions on Tuesday evening will be…

‘Out, And The Olympics’

ITV Sport WalesBeth Fisher will lead a conversation with Olympic gold medal-winning athletes Matthew Mitcham (diving for Australia at Beijing 2008) and Susannah Townsend (hockey for Great Britain at Rio 2016), and Tokyo 2020 contender Michael Gunning (swimming for Jamaica). What’s the impact of LGBT+ visibility at the Games, and how can we all help to create an inclusive Olympic culture?

Jack Murley, Charlie Martin, Katie Gornall, Tom Bosworth and Beth Fisher at Sports Media LGBT+’s first #AuthenticMe event, at BBC Quay House in Salford in October 2018

‘Sharing Stories’

Broadcaster Jack Murley will welcome guests who have recently appeared on his BBC LGBT Sport Podcast series, which was nominated for a 2019 British Podcast Award. Fee Pocock (three-time Six Nations champion with England and Rugby World Cup silver medallist); Aslie Pitter (founder of Stonewall FC); Rowena Purdy (rallying) and John Dickinson-Lilley (GB menโ€™s blind skier, European and British champion 2016) will discuss how sharing stories helps to empower both themselves and others.

‘Our Beautiful Game’

In support of our friends at Women In Football and the Fare network’s #FootballPeople action weeks (10-24 October), we’ll learn about the experiences of three women involved in the game in different roles, and the football journey of a player who’s non-binary. Joanie Evans (Federation of Gay Games co-president); Nicky Bandini (journalist and writer); Bhavisha Ravji (Charlton fan and Proud Valiants co-chair); and JP Casey (a player with LGBT+-inclusive club Soho FC) will talk about the effects of being authentic in their respective football environments.

The event will also provide opportunities for guests from across our sports community to meet and network.

If you’re interested in #AuthenticMe and would like to learn more, please get in touch with us at info@sportsmedialgbt.com.

We’ll be covering the event on our social channels on Tuesday evening – follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and we’ll also recap proceedings here on our website in the days that follow.