Sports Media LGBT+ in 2020

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to our website, or just checking back in – thanks for stopping by. Read on to learn about what we can offer you, our achievements to date, and more…

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Who we are…

  • A network group for LGBT+ people and allies across sport, with a focus on sharing empowering stories through the power of journalism and media
  • An advocacy group that fights for LGBT+ inclusion in sport, the sports media industry and other relevant sectors
  • A consultancy consisting of experienced sports media professionals who advise on communications and media strategy, and who can help achieve fair and accurate coverage for LGBT+ people in sport
The ‘Out, And The Olympics’ panel session at our #AuthenticMe event in October 2019

What we do…

  • Assist in providing platforms for LGBT+ people and allies in both sport and sports media to reach new audiences and connect with the wider community, through media coverage, events, chat groups and social media: Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook | Follow on Instagram
  • Encourage discussion around LGBT+ visibility and representation in sport through our #AuthenticMe initiative, which invites athletes, coaches, administrators, and others to share their experiences of being truly authentic and how this affects their performance
  • Deliver tailored resources and workshops on communicating LGBT+ inclusion in sport, to assist fellow professionals, students, and those in other media, comms and PR roles in navigating language, tone, presentation etc

What we’ve achieved…

  • Built a network – a social media audience of 5000+; a mailing list of 500+; a core group of 40+ working in sports media, comms, PR, LGBT+ inclusion and associated roles; partnered with a wide range of industry bodies, groups and organisations who share our values

New visitor? Connect with us here, or email info@sportsmedialgbt.com

  • Generated positive media coverage for individuals and organisations on major platforms such as Sky Sports and BBC Sport, and on publications at a national and regional level
  • Hosted #Authentic Me events at Twitter UK in London (2019) and BBC Sport in Manchester (2018), supported by major industry bodies, featuring panels of speakers including Olympic athletes, broadcasters, grassroots heroes and other personalities – all LGBT+ people and allies in sport – discussing their experiences to help empower others
Sports Media LGBT+ was founded in November 2017

Recent examples of our work…

Helping Living Sport, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough charity for sport and physical activity, access regional media coverage for their ‘Play With Pride’ initiative

Read: ‘The inspiring Cambs group tackling LGBTQ+ exclusion from sport’ (Debbie Luxon for Cambridge News, 7 January 2020)

Connecting Let’s Get Racing – an inclusion-focused horse racing syndicate – with network member Zoe Vicarage, the head of digital at Owner Breeder who produced a feature article on the project.

Read: ‘Broadening racing’s appeal’ (Zoe Vicarage for Owner Breeder, 19 December 2019)

Sky Sports and Rainbow Laces

Sports Media LGBT+’s founder and network lead, Jon Holmes, is the Senior Home Page Editor at Sky Sports, where he helps to co-ordinate the media company’s support for Stonewall’s award-winning Rainbow Laces campaign which seeks to make sport more LGBT+-inclusive and welcoming for all. See Sky Sports’ Rainbow Laces content here.

Through his journalism, Jon provides opportunities for LGBT+ people and allies in sport to collaborate with him on content creation and in many instances, to inspire and empower others by sharing their stories with a large audience. Recent examples include:

Acceptance and abuse: Maxine Blythin’s story’ – the Kent Women cricketer’s first in-depth interview, which accompanied a TV interview with Sportswomen on Sky Sports News (November 2019)

‘Why Ogogo’s calling out homophobia’ – Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo on officiating at his sister’s wedding, calling out negativity on social media, and speaking publicly as an LGBT+ ally (September 2019)

‘Gay in the NFL: ‘Football was my cover” – Ryan O’Callaghan, the former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lineman, discusses his powerful memoir ‘My Life On The Line’ and his Foundation plans (September 2019)

Jon worked exclusively with the football referee Ryan Atkin on his ‘coming out’ story in August 2017, and has interviewed many other LGBT+ people in sport including Olympic gold medalists Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, international swimmer Michael Gunning, darts referee Huw Ware, and many amateur athletes. See his full portfolio here – you can contact Jon directly, and in confidence, at jon@sportsmedialgbt.com.

More 2019 highlights…

A few extra ‘best bits’ from the last 12 months or so…

We helped launch and establish LGBT+ motorsport news Racing Pride UK; promoted Goaldiggers FC’s ‘The Festival of Football’; delivered a workshop on ‘Communicating LGBT+ Inclusion’ at the Pride Sports Summit in Manchester, and helped out at the Pride Youth Games; discussed ‘The Gay Footballer’ and how the media needs to be more responsible in its reporting; contributed to new academic text ‘Sports Journalism: The State of Play’; hosted panel discussions and conversations at Football v Homophobia’s 20th anniversary event, Outsports Pride in Los Angeles, and the annual Hill & Knowlton creativity symposium at the British Library. And that’s not all we did…

Reach out and talk to us about your plans and projects for 2020!

Sports Media LGBT+’s objectives for 2020

  • January: Release ‘Rainbow Ready’ – our first published resources, backed by leading sports inclusion organisations. A media strategy and guidelines document on communicating LGBT+ inclusion in sport, designed to help anyone working in a media, comms or PR capacity
  • February: Host a quiz night in central London on a midweek evening to mark LGBT History Month in the UK, raising money for one or more LGBT+ specific charities
  • June: Attend and contribute to the Outsports Pride summit, being held in Philadelphia (11-14 June)
  • October: Host our third #AuthenticMe event, in the week beginning Mon 5
  • Continue to support inclusion initiatives and campaigns such as Football v Homophobia and Rainbow Laces, and related events, and build upon our partnerships with organisations such as the Sports Journalists’ Association, Women In Football, Pride In Football, Racing Pride UK etc
  • Grow our connections across the sports, media and LGBT+ spaces
  • More regular meet-ups and get-togethers
  • Increased website content – you’re welcome to contribute! Your blog, article, video content etc could be published on our Google News featured site and reach a wider audience. Start a conversation…
  • More frequent mailing list updates – keeping our network informed about events and activities

Dates for the diary in 2020

Want to see your event listed here? Interested in attending an event and keen to make a connection? Whatever your query, give us a shout!

Fri 24 to Sun 26 Jan – Pride Weekend in the Elite Ice Hockey League

Thu 30 Jan (7pm) – London Royals Hockey Pub Quiz (The Grange, Bermondsey)

Thu 30 Jan to Sun 2 JanGlam Slam tennis tournament (Melbourne)

FebruaryLGBT History Month (UK) – Theme ‘Poetry, Prose and Plays’

FebFootball v Homophobia Month of Action

Tue 4 Feb (6.30pm) – Football Association: Chairman’s LGBT History Month Reception (Wembley)

Fri 7 Feb (7pm) – Football v Homophobia Awards event (Altrincham FC)

Tue 11 Feb (7pm) – Sports Media LGBT+ event in London (save the date!)

Sat 15 Feb (afternoon) – event in London (save the date!)

Wed 19 Feb (6.30pm to 8pm) – ‘Run, jump, swim, play. How can we open up physical activity opportunities to trans and non-binary people?’ – Panel discussion (The British Academy, central London)

Fri 21 to Sun 23 FebNational Student Pride (University of Westminster)

Fri 21 Feb to Sun 8 March – Women’s T20 World Cup (Australia)

Mon 24 FebBritish Sports Journalism Awards (Park Plaza Westminster, London)

Tue 31 Mar – International Transgender Day of Visibility

Sun 26 April – Lesbian Visibility Day

Sun 17 May – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Sun 24 May – Pan Visibility Day

Fri 29 Mayevent in London (save the date!)

June – Pride Month

Thu 11 to Sun 14 JuneOutsports Pride (Philadelphia)

Fri 12 June to Sun 12 July – Euro 2020

Sat 27 JunePride in London

Sun 28 June – UK Black Pride

Tue 14 July – International Non-Binary People’s Day

Fri 24 July to Sun 9 August – Olympic Games (Tokyo)

Wed 5 to Sun 9 AugEuroGames (Dusseldorf)

Wed 12 to Sun 16 AugBingham Cup (Ottawa)

Tue 25 to Sun 6 September – Paralympic Games (Tokyo)

Wed 23 SepCelebrate Bisexuality Day

OctoberBlack History Month (UK); LGBT History Month (USA)

Sat 10 OctWorld Mental Health Day

Sun 11 OctComing Out Day

Wed 21 OctInternational Pronouns Day

Mon 26 OctIntersex Awareness Day

Fri 20 NovemberTransgender Day of Remembrance

Tue 1 DecemberWorld AIDS Day

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