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