BikeBiz November 2021

Page 19

LETTERS

Ride with Pride Richard Hearne, founder and chairperson, PRiDE OUT, pens an open letter to the UK cycling industry…

D

ear British Cycling, Cycling UK, Department for Transport, Sport England, Sustrans and UK Sport ... friends and allies, In November 2020, we published an open letter entitled The Diversity & Inclusion Problem in Cycling. Following this, we are calling on cycling and sporting organisations to acknowledge the specific challenges that LGBTQIA+ people face in cycling; we also seek a commitment to implement solutions which give everyone an equitable chance to ‘ride with pride’.

​We are calling for a commitment to the following: 1. Celebrate lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex and ace/ asexual (LGBTQIA+) cyclists and their stories, not just on key dates ... but all year round! 2. Assist with the creation (and strengthening of existing networks) similar to British Cycling’s ten year-old ‘Breeze’ rides for women, encouraging underrepresented communities to cycle more e.g. ethnically diverse communities, LGBTQIA+ people and people with disabilities 3. Adopt strict zero-tolerance policies of biphobia, homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia (and similar) 4. Lobby for reliable LGBTQIA+ cycling participation statistics

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to be compiled and published by Sport England, Sport Scotland and Sport Wales 5. Guarantee LGBTQIA+ cyclists and groups receive funding which is proportional to the size of the LGBTQIA+ population 6. Ensure organisational representation of LGBTQIA+ people at all levels, and publish workforce makeup statistics detailing the proportion of paid employees We’re ready to enable far greater LGBTQIA+ participation in cycling... are you? We believe there are five key challenges preventing much greater LGBTQIA+ participation in cycling, from grassroots to elite level, and everything in-between: acknowledgement, prejudice, visibility, statistics and funding. Acknowledgment LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to earn less, feel lonely, drink/take drugs, be depressed, take their own life and nearly twice as likely to be inactive (affecting their physical and mental health). There are also many stigmas LGBTQIA+ people face; often these manifest from a young age, perhaps because of experience of hate crime or prejudice, not seeing people who ‘look like them’ or having a sense that they are different to others.

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