LGBT+ Sport, Leisure and Wellbeing

To mark LGBT History Month and Football v Homophobia Month of Action [see:] staff in the Departments of Sport & Physical Activity (Carly Stewart, Emma Kavanagh & Adi Adams) and Events & Leisure (Jayne Caudwell) ran a LBGT+ Sport, Leisure and Wellbeing symposium (Weds 21st Feb). Statistics demonstrate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia exist in sport, physical activity and active leisure. For instance, Stonewall reported (2016) that 72% of football fans have witnessed homophobic abuse, and 43% of LGBT people consider public sporting events as unwelcoming for LGBT people.

At the symposium, we discussed experiences of, and challenges to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Speakers included Communi-T, a Bournemouth based social group for trans people and anyone who is on the trans spectrum. We know little about transgender and non-binary people’s participation in sport, physical activity and active leisure. The symposium provided opportunity to consider what can be done to address incidents of transphobia. A significant issue is the way we organise sport, physical activity and active leisure, especially infrastructures such as the changing rooms. This aspect was the focus for one of the speakers – Ali Greey a Masters student at the University of Toronto. Ali provided a compelling pre-recorded presentation entitled: It’s a bad case of the locker room blues [see:]

The symposium was supported by local organisations keen to address homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Speakers from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service, Dorset Police and Dorset Football Association discussed policies of inclusion and processes of reporting hate crime as well as the Prejudice Free Dorset partnership.