Sports Parents
Blog Entries Image

Resources for LGBTQA Athletes

December 02, 2015

Part of the value of youth sports participation is that kids can learn what it feels like to be in an environment that advocates inclusion, recognition, understanding and respect among all its members.

While Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Asexual/Aromantic (LGBTQA) issues were once taboo, LGBTQA kids are now an important part of any youth sport’s mission to teach inclusion and diversity. More than ever, kids are accepting and open about their non-heteronormative sexual orientation and gender identity and their heterosexual peers are increasingly comfortable with their LGBTQA teammates and coaches.

Still, it’s a good idea for parents and coaches to be intentional about creating a climate in which vulnerable kids (and coaches and managers for that matter) feel safe and valued. Just like with other issues that people may tackle for the first time, it all starts with awareness. With an increase in media coverage about LGBTQA athletes, the number of resources available is growing. Here’s a list of sports-related resources as well as a few community-related resources.

 

RESOURCES FOR LGBTQA ATHLETES

  • Athlete Ally – Athlete Ally is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization that provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities. They mobilize Ambassadors in collegiate, professional and Olympic sports who work to foster “allyship” in their athletic environments.
  • Br{ache the Silence – Br{ache the Silence aims to build a pipeline of leadership and create greater visibility of positive role models in women’s sports, which will benefit all people in all levels of competition, not just the LGBTQ community.
  • GLAAD Sports Media Project – Stories that show how athletes, teams, leagues, and journalists who cover the world of sports are dealing with LGBT-related issues
  • GLSEN Sports Project – The GLSEN Sports Project’s mission is to assist K-12 schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. – See more at: http://sports.glsen.org/#sthash.ZR0vJzKD.dpuf
  • GO! Athletes – GO! Athletes was created in 2008 when current and former LGBTQ athletes came together to discuss the issues and challenges faced by LGBTQ athletes (particularly student-athletes) and ways they could help eliminate anti-LGBTQ bias within athletics. They seek to create a space and network where former and current student-athletes can access existing resources and safely communicate with other LGBTQ athletes
  • It Takes A Team (Women’s Sports Foundation) – This is an education project focused on eliminating homophobia as a barrier to all women and men participating in sport. Our primary goals are to develop and disseminate practical educational information and resources to athletic administrators, coaches, parents and athletes at the high school and college levels to make sport safe and welcoming for all.
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Inclusion Initiative – This page features a host of resources, including information on inclusive terminology; access to “Safe Zone” materials such as stickers and magnets; best practices; news articles, and more.
  • OutSports – A news site compiling videos, photos, and stories related to LGBTQA athletes.
  • Trans*Athlete – A resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans* inclusion in athletics at various levels of play. This site pulls together existing information in one central location.
  • You Can Play – You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are 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. You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

 

COMMUNITY RELATED RESOURCES 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Author,
Hilary Nixon Dehn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *