A sports movement for everyone against homo-, bi- and transphobia
This week it’s Stockholm Pride (digital). The Swedish Sports Confederation pays attention to the important festival whose main message, that everyone should have the opportunity to be themselves and love whoever they want, is completely in line with the values of sport.
Sport is an arena for community, for many a free zone where there is an opportunity to develop and to find and shape their identity.
For LGBTQ people, however, it has not always looked, or looks like that today. Restrictive hetero- and cis-norms often stand in the way of active people and leaders being able to be part of the sport on good terms and be themselves and be open with their identity or sexual orientation – something that can negatively affect both mood and performance.
Changing room jargon, ignorance among leaders about LGBTQ and gender division from an early age are some thresholds that can be an obstacle for LGBTQ people in sports – and which are now being challenged in many places in Sweden by many wanting to change for the better.
What is being done today in sports?
The sports movement has jointly decided on a strategy work to shape the sports of the future, Strategy 2025. Within the framework of the development work Strategy 2025, work is underway to review the forms and norms of sport, including hetero and cis norms to create space for more people. The work largely involves reviewing for whom one’s own environment is shaped today and what adjustments need to be made for more people to feel welcome, be able to feel good and develop in sports. It can look very different in different sports and in different associations, therefore each association needs to review its own environment.
A crucial part of the work is to start with oneself and identify the privileges (benefits) that come with belonging to the norm and be able to use it to use a possible position of power to create space for those who may not be as obvious in the context. In this way, everyone can be a part of the work towards a more LGBTQ-inclusive sport.
Participation in Pride Parades
The sports movement in Sweden has participated in Stockholm Pride since 2016 under the slogan “The sports movement makes Sweden stronger”. About thirty special sports federations with about 1800 participants from different sports have participated in the last two years and the sports movement has been the largest section in the Stockholm Pride parade (which is the second largest in the world!).
Around Sweden, districts and associations have participated in local parades and shown what we have established together in our values, that sport should be for everyone. The symbolism is clear. Together, we have shown that the issue is important for the entire movement and that when we are many, we can make a big difference.
Read more here
Gay Games in Hong Kong 2022
The importance of sports within the LGBTQ community is a global issue. In 2022, for the first time in Asia, Hong Kong will host Gay Games. This is the 11th edition of the Gay Games, with 12,000 participants and 75,000 spectators gathering to play 36 Sports. They will also be able to enjoy a rich calendar of Arts & Culture events, to dance and have fun at the Festival Village, for 9 days in November 2022.
We hope to see many Swedes and many others sports enthusiasts from the LGBTQ community around the world competing in these games! Read more about Gay Games here
Main photo by: Sharon McCutcheon
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