Live Out Loud campaign celebrating young LGBTQ+ people in culture, society and sport

As part of the campaign, Sporting Pride has partnered with Foróige to encourage more young LGBTQ+ people to get involved with sport.

A tennis racket and ball on top of a rainbow flag

Karina Murray from Sporting Pride tells us all about their involvement in the new Live Out Loud campaign for LGBTQ+ young people.

Sporting Pride are delighted to get involved in the Live Out Loud: Celebrating LGBTI+ Youth campaign – a national Government of Ireland campaign and event that aims to celebrate LGBTQ+ young people in culture, society and sport.

We are working with Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth work organisation, to run a campaign promoting sport to LGBTQ+ young people, and many of our communities LGBTQ+ sports teams and allies have signed up to show their support.

A number of videos will go out over the next two weeks on the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth’s social media accounts, showing community members sharing their personal experiences of sport and showcasing how inclusive sport can be for LGBTQ+ youth. There will also be a “best bits” sports package for the Live Out Loud event streaming live from the National opera House in Wexford on June 25th – more information on this is available in the recently released Dublin Pride Guide (pages 72-73)!

Why play sports?

Sport is a wonderful place for those who take part for a number of reasons. As a young person, sports can help you build character, improve your self-esteem and confidence, and help you to develop social skills that are transferable to other areas of your life. The LGBTQ+ inclusive sports clubs across Ireland are popular more so for the social aspect than for any other reason, and connecting with peers is so important for members of our community.

Of course the opportunity to get healthy is a major call to action for many and sports offers an environment that encourages you to get active and improve fitness levels.

Why is visibility important?

From a personal perspective, the lack of visibility LGBTQ+ visibility in sports growing up had a major impact on my sense of belonging in this space. Feelings of ‘otherness’ and discomfort can be overwhelming at times. Not seeing myself represented at any level – whether that be in my teams, coaches, schools, or in the athletes I admired – can make someone feel an outsider in a space that normally brings people closer together.

Nowadays, I can see myself in many sporting spaces. Elite athletes in most of the sports I love are speaking out about their sexuality, no longer hiding themselves. The LGBTQ+ inclusive sports clubs across Ireland are doing amazing work in terms of creating a safe space for members of our community to socialise and get back into sports and/or try out new sports – all are welcome regardless of their sporting ability.

Finally, many of the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sports are working on inclusive policies that will tackle the discrimination some LGBTI+ people experience in sport. Time will tell how effective these policies will be, but I would hope that the inclusion of LGBTQ+ young people in every sport is a priority for all NGB’s who really want to make sport inclusive of everyone.

With thanks to the following individuals and organisations who are supporting this campaign alongside Sporting Pride and Foróige:

Aifric & Bella – ShoutOut
Andrew Burke Hannon – Operation Transformation Leader
Aoife Cooke – Marathon Runner, recently qualified for Tokyo Olympics
Claire & Conor – Dublin Frontrunners
Connor – Teach Solais Tribes FC / Galway Pride
Dan – Out2tennis
Ginell – Phoenix Tigers FC
Helen McHugh – Sport Ireland
Jason – Dublin Devils FC
Karl – Rainbow Gaels
Karina – Sporting Pride
Nikki Bradley – Triathlon Ireland
Pauric – Emerald Warriors Rugby Football Club
Peter Roberst – Cork Rebels FC / Sporting Pride

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