Sports Media LGBT+ in 2023: Connect, share news, consultancy, calendar etc

Are you LGBTQ+ or an active ally with a role in sports? We work to bring the community together through networking, advocacy, digital publishing, and more; read our FAQs and find out why we’re so passionate about sharing stories, and the help that we provide; see our calendar of upcoming events – February is LGBT+ History Month and the Football v Homophobia Month of Action…

By Jon Holmes

Jump to… Connect | Calendar | Your news – get published! | Recent achievements

What is Sports Media LGBT+?

Back in the summer of 2017, a group of sports journalists, PR / comms professionals and community activists sat around a pub table in London, UK, to discuss the idea of a sports media industry network group for LGBT+ people and allies.

With enthusiasm for such a group confirmed, Sports Media LGBT+ formally launched that November, with strong support from the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA), BCOMS and other inclusion organisations.

Six years later, networking remains a fundamental function of the group – but our remit has widened into advocacy, campaigning, consultancy, digital publishing and events management. We create resources, deliver workshops and webinars, and offer scenario planning. We seek to help all those who want to play their part in making sports culture more LGBTQ+-inclusive and welcoming.

We believe in responsible representation in journalism, something that’s put into practice by many of our members through their work. We champion content that accurately reflects the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, from athletes to administrators, coaches to commentators, match officials to media influencers, all the way from the elite to the grassroots.

Every story shared has the potential to empower and could help to change someone’s life for the better. We know too that being more visible can often be daunting so it’s important to focus on what you want to achieve and to have a support network in place. For those reaching out, whatever your situation, confidentiality is guaranteed.

Find out more in our About section.

How do I connect?

Beyond this website, you can find us on several social media platforms where we provide relevant news and info, such as recommended content, job opportunities, and event promotion…

PublicFollow us on Twitter (11,400+) | Like us on Facebook (1,300+) | Follow us on Instagram (4,800+)

PrivateJoin over 600 people from around the world in our Community Group on Facebook | Or our Group on LinkedIn | Talk to us about our core members’ WhatsApp group

We also help to operate the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective, which is an industry network for those working in the game in pro or semi-pro roles. The Collective provides safe access to advice and connections with fellow players in the men’s and women’s games, coaches and managers, referees, and people working for FAs and governing bodies, all of whom are LGBTQ+ or active allies.

For enquiries on all the above, our DMs are open on social media and you can also email our main inbox or myself (Jon) here.

Find out more about connecting on our Contact page where you can also sign up to our mailing list for occasional newsletters.

Who do you work with?

Sports Media LGBT+ prides itself on being a collaborative group that promotes the inclusion work of others.

We continue to be backed by the SJA – our industry’s biggest membership group – and we have an important partnership with the Football Writers’ Association. We are represented on the steering committees of both organisations.

Nine people are on a stage in front of a screen showing the logos of BCOMS, Sports Media LGBT+ (SMLGBT+), Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA), The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Women in Football (WIF). From left to right - Neil Callaghan (TAGS) is a white man with black hair. Maria Verdeille (TAGS) is a short white woman with long ginger hair. Ashley Broadley (SJA) is a white man wearing a grey suit. Lisa Pool (WIF) is a white woman with brown hair wearing an all-black suit. Nate Williams (TAGS) is a white man in a wheelchair with brown hair wearing a black suit. Jon Holmes (SMLGBT+) is a white man wearing a blue suit. Flo Lloyd-Hughes (SMLGBT+) is a white woman with brown hair wearing a blue jumper. Michelle Dorgan (WIF) is a white woman with red hair wearing a beige dress. Andrew Ducille (BCOMS) is a tall black man wearing a suit and orange tie.

In 2023, we will also be working more closely with our friends at BCOMS, Women in Football and The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) as part of an intersectional diversity in sports media alliance project. These groups are also members of the Sport Media Identity Network, an academic research initiative funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

We are hugely grateful for the mutually supportive relationships we enjoy with InterMediaUK, Pride Sports UK / Football v Homophobia, Kick It Out, LEAP Sports Scotland, Pride in Football, Racing Pride, and Out for Sport, to name a few. In addition, we offer support to a host of other sports clubs, societies, and organisations by raising awareness of their activities through the media.

See more of our connections on our Links page. If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch.

Resources and learning

In 2022, we produced an LGBT+-specific Media Guide for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as part of our work on Pride House Birmingham.

This was an updated and bespoke version of ‘Rainbow Ready’, a resources pack for anyone in a media or comms role looking for accessible, practical information about LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

These guides assist with the creation and production of content about athletes, coaches, administrators and those in associated roles who are lesbian, gay, bi, and trans, outlining the types of messages an individual or group might want to convey and how to best deliver these to different audiences.

We also contributed to BCOMS’ D Word 4 Guide, released in November 2022, which is essential reading for all working in sports media. The Guide highlights best practice on embedding ED&I into our industry, with summaries of the panel discussions at the D Word 4 event held earlier in the year.

Our learning provision extends to workshops, presentations and webinars, which can be tailored to fit your requirements.

We also have capacity to issue guidance on other associated topics – enquire to discuss.

Calendar of events / dates for your diary – coming up in 2023…

If you’re interested in attending / participating in any of the below and would like more info, contact us

Got news to share? Get published!

Our website welcomed over 50,000 visitors in 2022. It’s registered with Google News and when coupled with our ever-growing social media reach, which provides access to an attentive audience in the tens of thousands, we’re a go-to digital destination for a range of content related to being LGBT+ in sports.

We encourage you to reach out to us for guidance through the media maze – perhaps you’ve put together a press release, or you’ve written a personal blog post that deserves to be read more widely. We’ve also done a lot of podcasting in recent years, such as for Football v Homophobia and Pride House International.

Having good quality imagery to accompany your content makes a huge difference. Whatever your pitch, please send it our way – and if you’re keen to reach a really big audience, our network members who work for major platforms and publishers are on hand to discuss further.

Meanwhile, if you’re already creating content, shout about it! Our Recommended page lists a variety of websites, podcasts and other outlets that cover the LGBT+ experience in sports, as well as a list of editors and journalists who regularly cover this topic and related themes. To ask to be added, get in touch.

Our recent achievements

Here are some of our 2022 highlights…

Nov: Helped to collate and produce BCOMS’ D Word 4 Diversity Guide

Sep to Dec: Consultancy with Kick It Out on Qatar 2022 Working Group, to explore issues relating to LGBTQ+ inclusion in and around the FIFA World Cup

Sep / Oct: Published results of our second industry survey and presented findings at the first event held by the Sport Media Identity Network

Oct: Helped to organise an #AuthenticMe event at Strathclyde Students’ Union in Glasgow alongside Pride of the Terraces and LEAP Sports Scotland, supported by the SJA

Oct: Put on network group social night at Sixes Fitzrovia in London

July and Aug: Led on media and comms for the successful delivery of the Pride House Birmingham venues and project at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

June: Put on an event in London to launch the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective

May: Provided consultancy and support to Sky Sports on Jake Daniels’ coming out story – for more on this, read an in-depth feature on PinkNews

Apr: Collaborated with Football v Homophobia campaign on new episodes of the FvH Podcast to mark Lesbian Visibility Week

Apr: Launched The Pride House Podcast, a series in support of Pride House Birmingham ahead of the Commonwealth Games

Sports Media LGBT+ is a network, advocacy, and consultancy group that is helping to build a community of LGBTQ+ people and allies in sport. We’re also a digital publisher.

We’re interested in your news and stories. Share with us and tap into a worldwide audience through our Google News affiliate website and our popular social channels with over 15,000 followers. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.