2018 IDAHO BLOG - Leading the Way: Working
with LGBTQI2S Athletes and Coaches.
by Jennifer Birch-Jones, CAAWS Program Lead for LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
(IDAHO) is held annually on May 17th to celebrate sexual and gender
diversity. This year’s global theme is “Alliances for
Solidarity” which is appropriate for our work in Canada to
make sport more welcoming for those who identify as lesbian, gay,
bisexual, trans, queer or questioning, intersex and two spirited
New testosterone rules for athletes discriminatory, Ottawa
New rules that would prevent female athletes with high natural testosterone
levels from running middle-distance races for women are discriminatory,
says an Ottawa-based sports and ethics organization.
Opposition to IAAF Classification Regulations
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the CAAWS are
speaking out against the International Association of Athletics
Federations’ (IAAF) new Eligibility Regulations for the Female
Classification that pertains to athletes with differences of sex
Pride House Founder to Receive IGLTA’s Pioneer Award
“We are excited to celebrate Dean Nelson, who developed a
way to champion diversity through major international sports events
such as the Olympic Games, an event that touches lives around the
world.” said Juan Julià, IGLTA Board Chair.
Softball coach calls out league policy on transgender players,
sparks national response
An Edmonton softball coach who raised red flags about his amateur
league's approach to transgender players has prompted policy reviews
at the sport's highest levels in Canada.
Jury slams Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth with $3.74 million
judgment for firing lesbian coach
March 16, 2018 - Miller sued the school after she was fired following
a very successful 16 years there. Miller, along with her wife and
then-fired UMD softball coach Jen Banford, claimed the firing was
the result of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation
and age. The Federal jury agreed.
Gay at the Games: How Canada is hosting Pride House, a
safe space for LGBT athletes at the Olympics
There are 13 out and proud LGBT athletes at the Winter Olympics,
out of more than 3,000 competitors. While that number may seem low,
it's almost double the number who were out at Sochi — seven.
"I promise, for every athlete that's out, there's at least
one or two that aren't," said Mark Tewksbury, a Canadian swimmer
who won Olympic gold in 1992, and later came out as gay.
Canada Olympic House will be a home to Pride House
COC is proud to announce that for the first time ever, Pride House
will be directly affiliated and hosted by a National Olympic Committee.
Canada Olympic House (COH) will be a home to Pride House during
the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. This represents a
unique partnership between the COC and Pride House International
(PHI) to celebrate, on a more meaningful scale than ever before,
our shared values of inclusion, diversity, and respect.
CWHL's first transgender woman finds comfort, confidence
in professional hockey
Jessica Platt learned to skate in a backyard ice rink her family
built in a neighbor's yard. Today, she plays for the Toronto Furies,
a Canadian Women's Hockey League team. "I'm hoping I can help
other trans people and trans athletes know that they can achieve
their dreams," Platt said. "Even if one person is inspired
or helped, then I feel like I succeeded at something."
CAAWS Leading the Way Webinar – Latest Research and
Promising Practices and Resources for LGBTQI2S Inclusion in Sport
Join CAAWS’ Jennifer Birch-Jones and Egale Action’s
Guylaine Demers to discuss Guylaine’s current research on
the sport experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
athletes and the implications for sport organizations. Promising
practices, new resources and initiatives underway on LGBTQI2S inclusion
in sport will also be shared.
to our latest webinar, February 15th, 2018
the February 15th, 2018 webinar slides (.pdf)
notre dernier webinaire, le 13 février 2018.
Les diapositives de cet atelier - le 13 février 2018.
This Edmonton-based gym for LGBTQ people is the first of
its kind in Canada
Kyle Fairall, who runs Queerflex, was nominated for a human rights
award for their work with the gym
COC Summit on LGBTQI2S Inclusion in Sport
Jennifer Birch-Jones, the CAAWS Program Lead for
LGBTQI2S Inclusion in Sport, was recently a guest panelist at the
Canadian Olympic Committee’s half-day workshop on LGBTQ+ Inclusion
and Diversity on November 25th in Calgary as part of their annual
meeting. Moderated by Dr. Guylaine Demers (Laval
University) and Dr. William Bridel (Calgary University),
the panel highlighted work Jennifer is leading as part of the LGBTQI2S
Sport Inclusion Task Force’s (SITF) NSO Pilot Project with
Gymnastics Canada and out Olympians Rosie Cossar
(Rhythmic Gymnastics) and Kris Burley (Artistic
Gymnastics) to make their sport more welcoming to LGBTQIQS minorities.
Ilan Yampolsky from Skate Canada also spoke of
their work with Dr. William Bridel on the SITF’s NSO Pilot
Project that is being supported by a three year SHRC grant.
Additional presentations were made on the important work being done
by Egale Canada and You Can Play. The half-day educational session
was attended by over 200 senior members of N/MSOs, as well as local
PSOs from the host province of Alberta. The session culminated in
the Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) Awards and Recognition
Committee presenting the 2017 International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Trophy for Sport Beyond Borders to You Can Play.
For more information about the session and / or the NSO pilot work
underway, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You Can Play awarded 2017 IOC Trophy for Sport Beyond Borders
Dec 2017 - The Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) Awards and
Recognition Committee presented the 2017 International Olympic Committee
(IOC) Trophy for Sport Beyond Borders to You Can Play.
Minor hockey coaches, trainers get mandatory training on
Dec 2017 - Ontario hockey coaches, trainers and managers have been
instructed to take training programs in support of transgender players.
An open discussion about sport and homophobia (video)
September 29, 2017 - Scott Russell, host of Road to the Olympic
Games, leads the conversation with author and Olympian Marnie McBean,
vice-president of development & operations at You Can Play Jillian
Svensson, and Paulo Senra, the CFL's director of communications.
Kristen Worley’s continuing battle for dignity in
July 18, 2017 - Testosterone alone is an insufficient marker to
distinguish men from women says elite Canadian transgender cyclist
Cycling Canada, OCA, the UCI, and Canadian Athlete Kristen
Worley Settle Human Rights Application to Promote Inclusive Sporting
July 18, 2017 - “Today, I am satisfied that the sport of cycling
in Canada and internationally have committed to help advocate for
issues facing XY female athletes,” said Worley. “My
vision encourages sport and the Olympic Movement to do what it is
supposed to do best: harmonizing and celebrating through sport the
magic and enormity of our human diversity.”
Historic support from Canadian sports teams, players for
June 24, 2017 - An historic number of athletes, coaches, management
and staff from Toronto sports teams and organizations will be attending
this year's Pride Parade in Toronto. More than 120 people representing
the NHL, CFL, Canada Basketball, Canadian Olympic Committee and
You Can Play are joining forces to continue their march towards
making sport a more inclusive space.
An open letter from Martina Navratilova to Margaret Court
Sporting venues named for athletes, or any place, really, named
for whoever, are so named for one reason. That reason is their whole
body of work. In other words, it is not just for what this person
did on the field, on the court, in politics, arts or science, for
instance, but also for who they are as human beings.
CAAWS Leading the Way Webinar – LGBTQI2S Inclusion
for Your Sport Organization
January 13, 2017
Thanks for joining the webinar! Missed it? Check out the replay!
Edmonton's LGBTQ rainbow hockey tape goes international
Dec. 2016 - Pride Tape 'a phenomenal made-in-Edmonton success story,'
says co-creator of rainbow hockey tape. Splashes of rainbow-coloured
hockey tape are raising awareness about LGBTQ athletes worldwide,
after an Edmonton-based campaign crossed the ocean.
2016 Sport Leadership Conference – Leading the Way
November 3, 2016 - Jennifer Birch-Jones
the presentation (.pdf, 2.23 MB)
Sport North Introduces Team NWT You Can Play Video
Sport North is privileged to formally join the You Can Play movement,
and is beyond grateful to the athletes, coaches, and officials who
stepped up participate in our TEAM NWT You Can Play video –
the first of its kind by a provincial or territorial sports organization
Leading the Way: Working with LGBTQ Athletes and Coaches
– A Focus on Trans Inclusion: Webinar
October 24, 2016, Jennifer Birch-Jones
the webinar presentation (.pdf, 7.15 MB)
Listen to the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/6883023432421815307
Just Being Himself, in a Professional Women’s Hockey
Oct 20, 2016 - He changed his voice mail recording and created a
new email address. He updated his LinkedIn profile, too, to reflect
his new name. With those details settled, and the National Women’s
Hockey League season about to begin, Harrison Browne, who was born
Hailey Browne and identifies as a man, was ready to debut as the
first openly transgender athlete in professional team sports in
At least 9 out LGBT athletes competing at the Paralympics
After a Summer Olympic Games that saw a record-smashing number of
publicly out lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes, the Paralympics
are set to follow suit in Rio. We know of at least nine publicly
out Paralympians who will be competing for gold in Rio, the most
we have known of in a single Paralympics.
Homophobia becomes a crime in Italian sport
Italian sports authorities have taken a clear position in support
of LGBT rights. In an historic decision, Italy’s National
Olympic Committee unanimously approved an amendment to its statute,
which introduces the crime of homophobia.
CCES Releases Guide to Creating Inclusive Environments
for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport
“I commend the work that the Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert
Working Group has done to develop guiding policy and practices for
sport organizations to better include trans participants in the
Canadian sport system,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough,
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
How Major Codes are Tackling Homophobia in Sport
Australia, April 27, 2016 - In 2014 Cricket Australia lead the way
in taking steps to eradicate homophobia from their code by signing
the ‘Anti-Homophobia in Sport Framework,’ and in 2015
also released their ‘A Sport for All’ diversity and
inclusion resource for Australian cricket clubs. It’s not
just Cricket Australia. All the major Australian sporting codes
have now signed onto the world first ‘Pride in Sport’
Is sport waking up to homophobia?
Out On The Fields is the first international study on homophobia
in sport, compiling responses from almost 9,500 people, including
around 25% from heterosexual men and women. The study found that
80% of people had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport
Adidas Encourages Star Athletes to Come Out
The world's second largest sportswear company is shaking up the
sports industry by being the first company to guarantee they will
not terminate any endorsement deals if the athlete comes out as
gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Problems in sport run deeper than homophobia
A University of Auckland researcher is taking a closer look at the
experiences LGBTI people have when it comes to women’s sport
in the hope to better understand the rigid ideas the sporting world
maintains in regards to masculinity and femininity.
Rainbow coloured hockey tape symbol of LGBTQ support
A new initiative aims to promote inclusion in sports through the
colour of hockey tape. Pride Tape is the brainchild of the University
of Alberta’s Sexual Minority Studies and Services.
The Canadian Women's Hockey League and You Can Play Team
On Saturday January 2nd, 2016 the Canadian Women’s Hockey
League will be hosting two games in partnership with You Can Play
to support and promote equality for all athletes, coaches, staff
and fans without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
promotional info (pdf, 152KB)
PrideHouse Toronto: Ensuring a place for all in sport
PrideHouse Toronto has achieved a number of firsts. For the first
time in Pan Am history, an openly gay runner participated in the
torch relay, arising from the close partnership of PrideHouseTO
with the TORONTO 2015 Organizing Committee. It’s the first
to ever receive government funding, which in this case came from
the government of Ontario and City of Toronto. And PrideHouse TO
lead partner CIBC is the first major corporate sponsor in the history
of the Pride House movement.
LGBT issues in sports 101
The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University
of Toronto, will offer a course next year called “Sports and
Sexual Diversity” in its undergraduate program.
PrideHouse Toronto to continue drive for LGBTQ inclusion
during Parapan American Games
More than 31,000 people visited PrideHouse Toronto during the Pan
American Games, from a variety of countries from across the region.
They are now hoping to have similar success during the Parapan American
Games and are keeping PrideHouse Pavilion open throughout the duration
of the event, which opens today and is due to last until August
Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games: the Change Room Project
“The first time I encountered a homophobic slur, it was written
on the wall in a locker room in my elementary school.” –
Elise, lesbian, graduate student. Walking into a gym locker room
can evoke a spectrum of emotions. For many users, it’s a get-in-and-get-out-fast
type of experience. But few people talk about why they feel the
way they do about these spaces.
Canadian Olympic Committee launches campaign to promote
In the moments before Anastasia Bucsis stepped on the ice to race,
when her sole focus should have been on what she had to do to win,
the speedskater would be consumed by worries that went way beyond
sport. What if her competitors knew she was gay? “Which is
ridiculous because it shouldn’t matter,” Bucsis said...
Canadian Olympic Committee Launches #OneTeam LGBTQ PSA
to Strengthen Message of Inclusion in Sport
#OneTeam Ambassadors stand up for inclusion in sport
TORONTO — On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)
launched its first ever #OneTeam LGBTQ inclusion in sport Public
Service Announcement (PSA), documenting the challenges that featured
athletes faced growing up and competing in sport while being closeted.
Keeper Erin McLeod comes out, leads team and fans as Canadian
The 32-year-old goalkeeper is about to play in her third Women’s
World Cup. It has been only in recent years, though, that she has
truly taken the leap to be exactly who she is – an athlete,
an artist, an activist and someone who will speak publicly about
Homophobia in sports still pervasive in Canada, new study
New data shows that homophobia is still alive and well in Canadian
sports and the study, which is the first of its kind, suggests anti-gay
attitudes are deterring young people from being active in some athletic
Canadian Olympic Committee tackling LGBT issues this week
Continuing on the quest it started six months ago with its #OneTeam
initiative, the Canadian Olympic Committee will host an international
roundtable on LGBT inclusion in sport this Thursday. The roundtable
features various panels and conversations focused on identifying
challenges to change in sport and solutions to advancing that change
on LGBT issues.
Out Proud Radio Interview with Jennifer Birch-Jones
December 5, 2014 - This was an informative discussion about Women
in Sport and Homophobia in Sports with my guest Jennifer Birch Jones,
life-long athlete and well known volunteer, national referee, sports
professional and advocate for the advancement of women in sport.