Pride touches everyone. Whether a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not, we all play an integral part in acknowledging the pain of the past, whilst celebrating the present and hopeful change for the future. This June, as part of pride month, we tasked our members with commenting on 3 main questions. Their responses below show just how important it is to continue the spread of love and acceptance within our ever-changing and worrying world. It is not enough to simply show support, we all must stand up and embody pride for everyone equally, without fear of prejudice or hate.
Thanks to all of our members who took part. As well as everyone who shared and responded to
We welcome everyone reading to answer these questions themselves!
What is the importance of PRIDE in sport?
“It's so important in sport to celebrate pride, to highlight how much a sport, especially one with such a sense of community, can create a safe space for queer people. The community within rowing, especially at DUBC, lets us all feel supported in being ourselves, whatever sexuality that may be.”
“To me, the importance of celebrating pride in sport centres around making everyone feel truly welcomed. Encouraged to live their true life in all aspects.”
“I think celebrating pride in sport is of the upmost importance, as it reinforces the message that sport is an all-inclusive place where individuals can fully express themselves freely”
“Sport serves to, by the provision of an accepting environment, lessen health inequalities faced by LGBT+ communities. Celebrating pride calls attention to ensuring this environment exists - an environment of health first.”
“There's a big difference between celebrating pride versus tolerating and accepting. Especially in a sport that is seemingly very traditional and rigid, showing that everyone is celebrated and valued for who they fully are, is crucial. Actively celebrating pride and being outspoken together as a club provides a welcoming environment for people to join.”
“Celebrating pride in sport enables people to feel like they can express their true authentic selves. Many sports cling onto heterosexual stereotypes which can be extremely damaging for those who don’t feel like they can fit into this “norm”. Encouraging the celebration of pride within sport creates a more diverse environment so that anyone feels welcome to give it a try. There are so many benefits to playing sport from social aspects to improving mental and physical health, it shouldn’t be reserved only for those who feel like they fit into a specific category. Additionally, many people look up to professional athletes as role models, so the more athletes that approach this subject or come out themselves, the more it helps to de-stigmatise LGBTQ+ and encourage people to accept and love themselves for who they are. It’s fantastic to see those athletes such as the Olympic rower Robbie Manson or professional footballer Jake Daniels have been brave enough to come out. However, the more pride is celebrated within sport culture, actions such as coming out will no longer have to be “brave” but simply accepted.”
What does PRIDE mean to you?
“To me, celebrating Pride means unconditional acceptance, showing dignity, whilst fighting for equal rights for all. It’s a month for people from all walks of life to stop and reflect on what it means to be truly accepting and accepted”
“Pride started out with literal riots. People fighting for their fundamental right to live true to themselves. Simply to love who they want to love, without judgement or discrimination. This is a battle that, despite immense progress, is still being fought. So that’s why we must continue to celebrate. Celebrate the progress, in acknowledgement of continued change for the better.”
“Pride, to me, means celebrating people just as they are. It’s a celebration of creating an environment where people can exist as their authentic selves, and a time when love between anyone is welcomed with open arms.”
“Being happy in who you are and confident to express yourself. Being supportive and respectful towards everyone. Helping one another through troubles and celebrating achievements together.”
“Pride is a great time for everyone to feel like they can express their true authentic selves. It’s wonderful being able to see that anyone in the LGBTQ+ community can have a moment to celebrate their journey.”
What steps can we all take to be a more PRIDE-filled world?
“In my eyes, a more Pride-filled world means a more accepting and kinder world. It all starts with a simple smile; a little kindness goes a long way. To achieve a ‘kinder world’ we all need to be more understanding and, in some cases, unlearn our prejudiced behaviour.”
“We can all try to develop a world in which each and every one of us is more accepting of the different elements that make up a person. When those elements are accepted, acknowledged, and appreciated that’s when we advance as a people.”
“Personally, I believe the only way to make a more pride-filled world is to be as close to your true and authentic self as possible. Expression, especially of sexuality and gender, is easily one of the most important ways we can celebrate pride year-round, and truly create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people.”
“There continues to be a tremendous amount of homophobia and transphobia in our culture today. It’s regrettable, it’s stupid, it’s heartless and it’s immoral. In much of the world, the LGBTQ+ community continue to have their basic rights under jeopardy, down to the forceful and narrow-minded hatred of hierarchies in power. It’s our obligation to hold people accountable for this hate. Preach to others that the world can be unequivocally accepting, and maybe, just maybe, it will become reality.”
“Embrace your friends and family. Making a pride-filled world doesn’t need to be big gestures. Even showing your peers support in any way you feel comfortable can make a huge difference.”
“To be a more pride-filled world we must support and lift each other up. This starts by creating an open and welcoming environment where all voices can be heard.”
“At the moment, pride is very much not something the whole world can participate in, people still can't get married to who they love and there are still countries where you can be labelled a criminal and killed for just loving someone, for showing them the tiniest bit of affection. People are seen as other for simply being themselves. This needs to change, urgently. That's a difficult thing for us as individuals to impact, but something we can individually do is not only tolerate but show kindness and show up for the community every step of the way. Love is love and everyone deserves to be able to be their true selves, inside and out.”
“To me, normalising the pride movement and its values, like we continue to do, are our most effective steps forward. Push for a more pride-filled world so that everyone is comfortable expressing themselves.”
“Pride stems from responsibility. If we each take on the responsibility of unconditional acceptance, equal treatment and respect of values - pride will naturally ensue.”