Sports Media LGBT+ in 2024: Join our network – events calendar, advice, content and more

Published by Jon Holmes on

We’re a group of sports journalists and media professionals who understand the importance of storytelling; we welcome enquiries from prospective new members, and share content on our website and social channels; our focus is on amplifying the voices of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in both sport and sports media…

By Jon Holmes

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

What is Sports Media LGBT+?

A few years ago, 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 great enthusiasm for such a network, Sports Media LGBT+ formally launched in November 2017, with strong support from the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA), BCOMS and other inclusion organisations.

Seven years later, we’re still going strong – and our remit has widened into content creation, advocacy, campaigning, consultancy, digital publishing and events management.

We create resources; deliver workshops and webinars; and offer services such as scenario planning. We’re here to help anyone in sports media or wider sport on all things LGBT+ inclusion.

We believe in responsible representation in journalism, something that’s put into practice by many of our network members.

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 grassroots to the elite.

Every story shared has the potential to empower others and could change someone’s life for the better.

Reaching out for advice and assistance can be a daunting proposition, even more so if you’re LGBT+ yourself. We are a trusted media organisation that prides itself on respect and responsibility.

See our About section for more information.

Who’s involved?

Jon Holmes is the founder and lead of Sports Media LGBT+. He is a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant.

My current roles include being an editor with Outsports, the world’s leading website for sports news and commentary related to being LGBT+; a part-time journalist at Sky Sports; a media consultant with the Football v Homophobia campaign; and I look after content and comms as part of my committee role with the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA).

I also sit on the national committee of the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) and the steering committee of InterMedia UK, and I’m a director of Racing Pride, the LGBTQ+ inclusion in motorsport CIC.

I have over 20 years’ experience of producing digital sports content, specialising in ED&I. I previously led on business support for Rainbow Laces at Sky Sports during my full-time employment with the company.

I was part of the team that delivered the Pride House Birmingham project at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and I was shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life category at the 2022 British LGBT Awards.

As part of my work on Football v Homophobia, I help to deliver the annual Month of Action, events such as the FvH Awards and Football Pride, plus projects including ‘Allies United’.

I am supported at Sports Media LGBT+ by colleagues from across my industry and by ED&I professionals in wider sport. You can read about some of our network members in Our Stories in Sport.

Follow me on X / Twitter and check out my portfolio of work.

How do I connect?

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

PublicFollow us on X / Twitter (12,500+) | Like us on Facebook (1,400+) | Follow us on Instagram (5,900+) | And we’re on Threads (1,700+) and LinkedIn

You can establish closer ties with us via the following platforms…

PrivateBe a part of our network by joining over 600 people from around the world in our Community Group on Facebook | Or connect further with us by asking to join our Group on LinkedIn

Do you have a role in sports media or content creation? Are you LGBT+ yourself or a strong, active ally? We have over 75 members in our network WhatsApp chat, from all over the world – get in touch if you’re interested in being part of this core group.

The WhatsApp chat is a welcoming space where sports media professionals who are LGBT+ can share, promote, discuss and find help / support on a variety of topics.

Sports Media LGBT+ also helps 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, match officials, and people working for FAs and governing bodies, all of whom are LGBTQ+ or active allies.

It’s supported by The FA, PGMOL, Football v Homophobia, Kick It Out and other organisations.

For enquiries on all of the above, our DMs are open on social media, you can email our main inbox, or email myself (Jon) here. Naturally, confidentiality is guaranteed.

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 FWA. Our network is strongly 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 2024, we are also 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 Pride Sports UK / Football v Homophobia; Kick It Out, the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA); LEAP Sports Scotland; Pride in Football; Racing Pride; InterMedia UK; and Out for Sport, to name but 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 about 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 created to assist anyone in a media or comms role looking for accessible, practical information about LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

These guides assist with the 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.

For Pride Month in June, we offer a dedicated resource and additional material.

Looking for guidance on workplace culture and LGBT+ inclusion in the sports media? Learnings from our most recent survey offer valuable insights that can help you create newsroom environments in which all employees can thrive.

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

Our learning provision on all the above and other topics extends to workshops, presentations and webinars, which can be tailored to fit your requirements.

We have successfully delivered these to organisations including the EFL, the Football Association of Wales, Sky Sports, the Premier League Charitable Fund, and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

We have the capacity to meet your requirements – enquire to discuss.

Calendar of events / dates for your diary – coming up in 2024…

Interested in attending / participating in any of these and would like more info? Want your event listed here? Contact us!

Got news to share? We can help!

Our website welcomed nearly 60,000 visitors in 2023. It’s registered with Google News and when coupled with our ever-growing social media reach, which provides access to an engaged 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 can help you get your content published, drive traffic, and achieve your goals.

We’re also proficient in podcasting, having devised and delivered episodes and spin-off material for Football v Homophobia and Pride House International.

Having good quality imagery to accompany your content makes a huge difference. But 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 highlights from the last 12 months or so…

March 2024 – Staging a sports media event for the Diversity Sport Alliance / Sports Journalists’ Association; co-ordinating media opportunities for the Football v Transphobia Week of Action

January / February 2024: Helped to deliver the annual Football v Homophobia Month of Action, organising two events – the MoA launch at Westminster and the FvH Awards in Manchester

November / December 2023: Produced content for Sky Sports for annual Rainbow Laces campaign activation; delivered Allies United workshops for Football v Homophobia

August 2023: Led on planning and delivery of Football v Homophobia’s Football Pride event in Manchester; began contributing to Outsports / Vox Media

July 2023: Hosted and organised a Pride panel discussion event at Brentford FC

June 2023: Contributed blog on Pride Month for Sport and Recreation Alliance; attended Fare Network’s Equality and Inclusion in Football Conference in Lisbon; guest speaker at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport UK Conference in London; hosted the Fans for Diversity plenary at the Football Supporters’ Association / Fans Europe Congress in Manchester; contributed an article about coming out publicly in sport for the British Elite Athletes’ Association; worked with Kick It Out on Pride content with LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective members Sam Picton and Hayley Wood-Thompson

May 2023: Delivered ‘Preparing for Pride Month’ workshop at Include Summit in Manchester; contributed to event for NCTJ’s annual Diversity in Journalism Report; delivered talk to journalism students from University of Florida

April 2023: Contributed to ITV event linked to in-house inclusive language project

Mar 2022: Consultancy and content production with Sky Sports on The HangOUT

Feb 2023: Delivered bespoke workshop on LGBT+ History Month and inclusive workplace culture to senior leaders at Sky Sports; raised £750 for akt at charity quiz night in conjunction with West London Queer Project

The Sports Media LGBT+ website is a digital publishing hub for news, stories and opinion from across our global community of LGBT+ people and allies in sport – and it’s open to all.

We’re interested in your content. Share with us and tap into a worldwide audience through our Google News affiliate website and our popular social channels with over 20,000 followers. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Jon Holmes

Digital Sports Editor