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 scroll down for a recap on what the network has achieved so far, our aims for 2019, and how you can get involved…
WE NEED YOU! We want our website to be a hub for LGBT+ sports-related content, events and news. We’re actively looking for contributions and suggestions from those who want their voices to be heard – drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 2019, 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.
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.
IDAHOT, and Homophobia: Sports and thoughts – Four out gay sports journalists describe the effects of homophobia, and what the sports media industry can learn
Podcasts: Rachel McKinnon, Tadd Fujikawa, Charlton Invicta – Don’t miss these conversations from episodes of Level Playing Field, Same Team, and The Gay Footballer’s Podcast
Lesbian Visibility Day: Sports and thoughts – Six women working in sports media share their takes on the awareness day, role models, and the advice they would give their younger selves
The Festival of Football: Women’s World Cup events series to hit London – Non-profit month-long festival celebrating women and non-binary people in football to be held across the capital in June and July
GFSN at 30: Mersey Marauders host Get Together – all you need to know ahead of GFSN’s annual tournament, being held this year in Liverpool from 14-16 June. How about some media coverage?
Podcasts: John Amaechi, Joe Johnson and more on being LGBT+ in sport – a round-up of choice cuts from Level Playing Field, The Gay Footballer’s Podcast, Same Team, and Homo Sapiens…
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
Want to get featured on our website? You can email email@example.com with an article idea, or
Dates for the diary in 2019
Mon 27 May (evening) – Charlton v Homophobia annual tournament (The Valley)
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 to Sun 9 June – Union Cup rugby union tournament (Dublin)
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)
Sat 13 July – Shoot Out Stigma football tournament (Birmingham)
Mon 23 September – Bi Visibility Day
Mon 23 to Sun 29 Sep – National Inclusion Week
Sat 5 and Sun 6 October – #PrideInRugby weekend
Fri 11 Oct – 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