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…
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 email@example.com. Although we’re based in the UK, we welcome ideas from anywhere around the world. Thank you.
- “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
sportwith 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
behaviourwas 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
Sportconference 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.
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.
Tom Bosworth: Coming out opened so many doors – the Olympic race walker chats to the Level Playing Field Podcast
Ryan Atkin: I’ve benefitted from being true to myself – the 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 stories – Jon 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 review – Jon 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with an article idea, or
Dates for the diary in 2019
Sun 24 to Sun 31 Mar – Football v Transphobia action week
Thu 28 Mar – Promoting Equality & Social Integration Conference (The Valley, Charlton Athletic FC, London)
Thu 28 Mar – Connect Sport event at Twitter HQ (London)
Sun 31 Mar – International Trans Day of Visibility
Tue 2 and Wed 3 April – UEFA #EqualGame conference (Wembley)
Mon 8 Apr (from 6pm) – Proud Cherries event hosted by AFC Bournemouth (Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth)
Tue 9 Apr (from
Mon 15 Apr – Kick 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 May – World Press Freedom Day
Fri 17 May – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – Theme for 2019: Justice & Safety
June – Pride Month
Thu 6 to Sun 9 June – Outsports Pride (Los Angeles)
Fri 7 June to Sun 7 July – FIFA Women’s World Cup (France)
Fri 7 June – Union Cup rugby union tournament (Dublin)
Fri 14 June – GFSN Summer Tournament (Liverpool)
Fri 28 June – Stonewall Riots 50th anniversary
Sun 30 June – New York Pride March
Sat 6 July – Pride In London parade
Thu 11 to Sat 13 July – EuroGames 2019 (Rome)
Mon 23 September – Bi Visibility Day
Mon 23 to Sun 29 Sep – National Inclusion Week
Fri 11 October – National Coming Out Day
Thu 17 Oct – Spirit Day
Sat 26 Oct – Intersex Awareness Day
Wed 20 November – Trans Day of Remembrance
Nov / December (tbc) – Rainbow Laces campaign activation
Sun 1 Dec – World AIDS Day
Sun 8 Dec – Pansexual / Panromantic Pride Day