Sports Media LGBT+ in 2019

We’re a network for LGBT+ people and allies. We’re working towards the goal of a more inclusive sports media industry, both in workplaces and in published content, and to help make sport itself more welcoming for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Network lead Jon Holmes writes… Sports Media LGBT+ is now in its second full calendar year, having been established in November 2017, so here’s a recap on what the network has achieved so far, and our aims for 2019…

Our #AuthenticMe event in October 2018 was hosted by BBC Sport’s Katie Gornall

Looking for our calendar of events? Click here to skip down the page

WE NEED YOU! We’re actively looking for fresh contributions to help give the network, and our website, some extra impetus. If any of the below interests you and you’d like to discuss further, or you’d like to submit some suggestions for projects etc, please get in touch via info@sportsmedialgbt.com. Although we’re based in the UK, we welcome ideas from anywhere around the world. Thank you.

Looking for LGBT+ sports content? Check out our ‘Recommended’ page!

Our achievements

  • “A truly wonderful and inspirational evening” – just one of the feedback comments we received after our #AuthenticMe event held at the BBC’s Salford HQ in October 2018. Out LGBT+ athletes Tom Bosworth and Charlie Martin shared their stories in sport with our audience via engaging presentations, describing how being true to themselves had helped boost their performance. Both still have targets to achieve in 2019 and beyond, and will strive to do so being out and proud. We will cheer for them and for all who are champions for inclusion in sport.
  • We presented findings from an online survey, where we asked people to assess how the sports media was faring on LGBT+ inclusion. The findings (published in October / November 2018) determined that amid some promising signs of progress, it was still difficult for gay, bisexual and trans people to be out at work in our industry, and that anti-LGBT language and behaviour was not uncommon in workplaces. At BCOMS’ #DWord3 event, we raised awareness around these problems; many people, including senior leaders, told us they had rarely if ever been addressed before in the industry.
  • Our community of LGBT+ people and allies is growing. As of March, our Twitter followers count has passed 3,000 and we have a mailing list of over 300 addresses. We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn and also WhatsApp (you can request access via email), sharing content and discussing all manner of related topics; we encourage connections. We have struck valued relationships with the Sports Journalists’ Association, BCOMS, Women In Football, InterMedia UK and other network groups, and we’re always open to more partnerships and collaborations.
  • Jon has given presentations and spoken on panels at several events, such as Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Summit at Wembley, LEAP Sports’ Diverse Sport conference in Glasgow, and a Digital Editors Network seminar at the BBC in London. He’s discussed Sky Sports’ ongoing work on LGBT+ inclusion; examples of good and bad practice from across the sports media industry; the aims and objectives of Sports Media LGBT+; and reporting guidelines for editors and journalists.
  • on our website, we’ve profiled journalists and podcasters giving coverage to inclusion and inspiring stories from LGBT+ individuals, and featured a range of blogs and articles covering topics such as workplace culture, coming out, and visibility.
Tom Bosworth was one of our special guest speakers at #AuthenticMe

Objectives for 2019

  • Look to form a Steering Committee. Are you interested in playing an active role in Sports Media LGBT+? It doesn’t require a big commitment – we’re all busy people, after all – but it could be a great addition to your CV. A committee would aim to meet at least four times a year, and would work together on content, resources, and events; whether our own, or others.
  • Work with schools, colleges, universities and other establishments on inclusive LGBT+ reporting. Jon has delivered well-received presentations that identify how sensationalism, inappropriate language and terminology, and lack of context have contributed to common complaints in journalism. By drawing upon our own newsroom experience and expertise, we raise discussion points and make suggestions which will help to prevent damaging stereotypes being perpetuated, while also addressing issues of representation.
  • Raise funds to help LGBT+ people in need of assistance. We do not yet have a charity partner, but we are interested in staging social events and other functions (such as quiz nights, panel debates, etc) where we could collect donations.
  • Use our platforms and reach to amplify LGBT+ voices, both in sport and sports media. Networks have the power to connect people and open doors; both remain key functions for us. We offer a space for both LGBT+ people and allies in sport and sports media to discuss their experiences, either in private or in public via blog posts etc (we are Google News indexed). We’ll listen, give advice where appropriate, and aim to empower others to achieve their goals through authenticity.
Jack Murley, Charlie Martin, Katie Gornall, Tom Bosworth and Beth Fisher at #AuthenticMe

Looking for a fresh start? Check out the Jobs page on BCOMS, the Jobs and Courses page on Women In Football or @SportsMedia_UK on Twitter for all the latest vacancies

Recent articles

Tom Bosworth: Coming out opened so many doorsthe Olympic race walker chats to the Level Playing Field Podcast

Ryan Atkin: I’ve benefitted from being true to myselfthe football referee is the guest on episode two of Adam McCabe’s Gay Footballer’s Podcast

Eric Radford: Being out publicly made me feel ‘so free’the Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater talks to Randy Boose on Level Playing Field

Gay Footballer’s Podcast: Sharing storiesJon chats to Adam about his role at Sky Sports, founding Sports Media LGBT+, and the impact you can have when you’re out in football

Rainbow Laces in reviewJon recaps the November / December 2018 activation of Stonewall’s campaign for LGBT+ inclusion in sport, and picks out 10 highlights

Want to get featured on our website? You can email jon@sportsmedialgbt.com with an article idea, or to pitch your story

Dates for the diary in 2019

Sun 24 to Sun 31 MarFootball v Transphobia action week

Thu 28 MarPromoting Equality & Social Integration Conference (The Valley, Charlton Athletic FC, London)

Thu 28 Mar – Connect Sport event at Twitter HQ (London)

Sun 31 MarInternational Trans Day of Visibility

Tue 2 and Wed 3 AprilUEFA #EqualGame conference (Wembley)

Mon 8 Apr (from 6pm)Proud Cherries event hosted by AFC Bournemouth (Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth)

Tue 9 Apr (from 6pm)Pathway to Sports Journalism and Broadcasting: Football Writers’ Association event (Sway, London)

Mon 15 AprKick It Out Raise Your Game conference (Arsenal FC)

Fri 26 Apr – Lesbian Visibility Day

Fri 26 Apr (6.30pm) – Out For Sport LGBT+ Sports Fair (London South Bank University)

Fri 3 MayWorld Press Freedom Day

Fri 17 MayInternational Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – Theme for 2019: Justice & Safety

June – Pride Month

Thu 6 to Sun 9 JuneOutsports Pride (Los Angeles)

Fri 7 June to Sun 7 JulyFIFA Women’s World Cup (France)

Fri 7 JuneUnion Cup rugby union tournament (Dublin)

Fri 14 JuneGFSN Summer Tournament (Liverpool)

Fri 28 JuneStonewall Riots 50th anniversary

Sun 30 JuneNew York Pride March

Sat 6 JulyPride In London parade

Thu 11 to Sat 13 JulyEuroGames 2019 (Rome)

Mon 23 SeptemberBi Visibility Day

Mon 23 to Sun 29 SepNational Inclusion Week

Fri 11 OctoberNational Coming Out Day

Thu 17 OctSpirit Day

Sat 26 OctIntersex Awareness Day

Wed 20 NovemberTrans Day of Remembrance

Nov / December (tbc)Rainbow Laces campaign activation

Sun 1 DecWorld AIDS Day

Sun 8 Dec – Pansexual / Panromantic Pride Day