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07 September 2020

Racing With Pride: Official LGBT+ network launched to increase support, awareness and engagement

The Diversity in Racing Steering Group has today announced the launch of Racing With Pride, the official LGBT+ network for British racing.

The network is designed for British racing’s participants, workforce and fans who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other sexual orientations and gender identities (LGBT+), as well as allies of the LGBT+ community who want to demonstrate their support, regardless of their own identity.

Rose Grissell, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Given the recent coronavirus pandemic, many of us have experienced increased feelings of isolation and loneliness over the past few months, and research shows that these feelings and associated mental health issues are heightened within the LGBT+ community. 
“We recognise this additional vulnerability and believe now is the right time to ensure racing’s LGBT+ participants and fans feel included and valued.”

 The aims of the network are:

  • To offer support through a safe space for LGBT+ people and allies to meet, receive support, have fun and enjoy racing online and in person.
  • To promote a better understanding of LGBT+ inclusion to ensure racing is everyone’s sport, encouraging all to step up as allies.
  • Provide a platform for the sport’s LGBT+ community to have a collective voice in shaping the industry’s future LGBT+ activity.

“Racing With Pride has been developed following recent research in the sport, which indicated many individuals who identified as a sexual minority did not feel comfortable ‘coming out’ at work, despite largely positive attitudes towards sexual minority individuals throughout the sport,” added Grissell.

The network has been created and launched by the DiRSG’s dedicated LGBT+ sub-group, with the aim that it is for and led by its members. It will be based primarily on social media with a secure Facebook group acting as a safe space for members to meet and interact, with plans to host a range of events in the future. Updates will also be available via the Racing With Pride Twitter account.

To help organisations across racing support and promote the network, a “Rainbow Ready for Racing” toolkit has been developed in collaboration with existing group Sports Media LGBT+ to assist in communicating about LGBT+ inclusion.

Broadcaster Clare Balding, speaking in support of the launch, said: “For those who have yet to discover the beauty of racehorses and the fun of a race day, I look forward to when we can celebrate with the first Pride Racing Festival which will no doubt have a carnival atmosphere!”

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