“We are all different from the colour of our skins to the pitch of our voices, from our religions and ethnicities to our sexual orientations and to the sizes, shapes and abilities of our bodies.” (Billy Jean King)
Football Australia strives for football participants be given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success. Clubs need to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in and around our game - including LGBTIQ+ athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans.
Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or because they are intersex. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and questioning (LGBTIQ+) people in Australia still experience discrimination, harassment and hostility in many parts of everyday life including sport.
Homophobia in Australian sport – the facts
Unfortunately, homophobia still exists in sport.
- 80% of participants have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport
- Of those targeted, 34% of gay males and 19% of lesbians have been bullied.
- Most gay people play team sports, but 70% believe youth team sport is not safe for gay people
Additional research can be found at the Out on the Fields website.
Action items for you and your club
Your club can help ensure it is welcoming for everyone by delivering on some of the following actions:
- Use inclusive and gender-neutral language in all your communications (written and verbal. E.g. invite partners rather than husbands/wives to social events)
- Lead by example – Take action against homophobic language as soon as you’re made aware of it (including calling out casual language, such as ‘homo’, ‘fag’, ‘poof’, ‘dyke’)
- Show visibility – an entry level form of engagement can be as simple as promoting a Diversity Day to show a simple level of inclusion.
- Become an ally - an active partner, friend, and visible supporter. Someone who works specifically to include LGBTIQ+ players, coaches, and/or fans in the club. Show your individual visibility through wearing a subtle piece of merchandise.
- Participate or partner with your local or state Pride/health organisations – there are many organisations that are keen to assist clubs in running events and training to increase awareness in creating an inclusive club for the LGBTIQ+ community.
- A language guide: Transgender and gender diverse inclusion
- Sport Aus - Transgender and gender diverse people in sport
- Play by the Rules - Creating an LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Club
- Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport (2019)
- Play by the Rules - Homophobia and Sexuality
- Out on the fields – The first international study on homophobia in sport
- National LGBTIQ+ Health Alliance
- Member Federation - Contact Information
- Pride Football Australia
- Proud 2 Play
Pride in Sport
Football Australia are foundation members of the Pride in Sport program.
THE PROGRAM: Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations at all levels with the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, queer, asexual and questioning (LGBTIQ+) employees, players, volunteers and spectators.
THE INDEX: The Pride in Sport Index™ (PSI) is the first and only benchmarking instrument specifically designed to assess the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, queer, asexual and questioning (LGBTIQ+) people within Australian sport and sporting organisations. Participating in the index will allow Australian sporting organisations to not only assess their own practice, but determine that which constitutes good practice, along with the ability to benchmark their own initiatives against an external measure and other sporting organisations.
Get further information from the team at Pride in Sport - visit www.prideinsport.com.au