Why is #PrideMonth Important in Sport?

During #PrideMonth, we’re sharing resources to help sports organizations and leaders continue their learning to create a better, safer sport system for all participants – regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation. As an organization, we’re committed to standing up for inclusion, continuing our own learning and amplifying organizations that are creating change in this space. 

Why is Pride important in sport? 

Despite the benefits sport can provide (enhancing mental/emotional health, building confidence, reducing stress, and more), it still remains an exclusive and often unsafe environment for many people in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In recent months, we’ve witnessed: 

2SLGBTQIA+ women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals belong in sport. Until all areas of sport are safe and welcoming for everyone, there is an on-going need for education, policy and action aimed at creating safer spaces for all participants in sport. 

Taking Action: Accessing Resources during Pride Month 

Are you a sport leader looking to gain knowledge on how to create safer, more equitable sport for 2SLGBTQIA+ participants in your community? Check out the resources below. While this list is a good starting point, the journey of allyship and education is lifelong. Use the skills and tools shared below as a stepping stone in your journey of continuous learning.  

Leading the Way: 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in Sport (Workshop) – Canadian Women & Sport 

While progress has been made towards greater 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, there is still much work to be done. This workshop provides sport leaders, including coaches, athletes and officials, with the opportunity to understand the barriers experienced by 2SLGBTQ+ people in sport and best practices for inclusion. Designed to create a braver space for open and honest conversation about how sport leaders can play a role in making sport more accepting of sexual and gender diversity. 

  • Best practices for organizations | 1.5 hrs | Starting at $800 

Leading the Way: Working with LGBT Athletes and Coaches (Publication) – Canadian Women & Sport 

Coaches play a critical role in creating sport environments that are safe and respectful for all, regardless of a participant’s ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Leading the Way: Working with LGBTQ Athletes and Coaches is based on the lived experiences of Canadian athletes and coaches. The resource highlights current issues in Canadian sport, from playground to podium, and aims to make sport a more welcoming place for those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. 

  • Diversity of girls and women | Free 

Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review – Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport 

The impacts of transgender athlete inclusion policies, or lack thereof, are significant and reach far beyond sport to affect how trans people are included in other areas of society. Sport can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of transgender people and can contribute to lifesaving opportunities and enhanced wellness.  

The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD): Sports Inclusion 

The Sports Inclusion Program at the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity aims to challenge homophobia and transphobia in athletics – to make sports a more accepting and inclusive pastime for all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. 

CCGSD works with amateur and recreational sports leagues, gym classes, and school and community groups (etc) all around Ontario to increase awareness and understanding about LGBTQ+ issues in sports. This includes workshops and publications.  

  • Trainings are free thanks to grant funding.  

Outspoken Biography: Take up the Torch (Documentary Film) 

Mark Kenneth Woods and Michael Yerxa produced this documentary in 2015. The 50-minute documentary spans 16 years of LGBTQ+ history in Canadian sport including the public coming out of Olympic champion Mark Tewksbury through to anti-LGBTQ legislation in Russia at the time the country was hosting the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The documentary also discusses the emergence of the Pride House movement in conjunction with major, multi-sport games and features interviews with many prominent queer Canadian athletes. 

Events During Pride Month 

Diversity in Sport Conference  

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has announced the upcoming Diversity in Sports Conference, to be held from June 23rd to 25th. 

With the support of the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, as well as numerous partner organizations, this highly anticipated inaugural event will focus on promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in amateur sports for emerging leaders, sport administrators, coaches, and officials. Learn more.  

  • Event Date: June 23-25, 2023 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM 
  • Organization: Ontario University Athletics (OUA) 
  • Event Location : Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites – Toronto, ON, CA 

Please check back here regularly for an updated list of events during June 2023. If you have information on events that you’d like to share, please email info@womenandsport.ca to have them featured on the site.