A Pride Month message from EGLSF

On the occasion of Pride Month, our associated member, EGLSF (European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation) sends their message to our readers.

June has become known for many as Pride month. Traditionally a time when the world’s LGBTQI+ community organises itself to celebrate, remember and protest to bring visibility to the issues affecting the community.

This year, more than ever, it is a month to remember the roots of the LGBTQI+ movement as hard-won rights are gradually being eroded – here in Europe, in countries where we thought they were won, and in other countries where obtaining basic rights is becoming increasingly difficult. This year, more than ever, we remember that the first Pride was a riot: the uprising of trans and queer people of colour and marginalised LGBTQI+ people at the Stonewall bar in New York City in June 1969 sparked the beginning of the modern LGBTQI+ Pride movement.

Standing strong for LGBTQI+ rights in all areas of life is still relevant today. Sport is a fundamental human right – the European Sports Charter, adopted in September 1992, recognises every person’s right to engage in their chosen sport - and defending this right is one of the core values of the EGLSF. Working with member clubs in the European LGBTQI+ sport community, and partners such as ENGSO and EPAS and with the Council of Europe, EGLSF upholds and promotes equality of opportunity in accessing and participating in sport, the right to play one’s chosen sport freely and with pride.

The challenges presented this year with the COVID-19 pandemic situation, have forced us all - including the LGBTQI+ sport community - to innovate and seek alternative solutions, to move community actions and sport initiatives online. And from this we have rediscovered two truths: that sport and physical activity are fundamental to physical and mental well-being, and that, as in 1969 in New York City, when faced with adversity, the European LGBTQI+ sport community knows how to come together and make sure that no-one gets left behind.