We need more LGBTQIA+ representation in sports as according to statistics, It is stated that the majority of reasons that 68% of the LGBTQ community refuses to take part is solely due to the high risk of discrimination. Whereas, it is shown that 32% have participated in sports and have received enormous support from peers. This can show the possibility of the negative and positive experiences that the LGBTQ+ community has received, and the different effects it can have on their Mental Health. Due to this, it has become important to bring more LGBTQ representation into sports to help inspire and encourage People without the fear of discrimination from peers or coaches.
There are multiple reasons why it has become more important to spread awareness to the LGBTQ+ communities, for example, according to the statistics 18% have heard negative comments either from peers or from teachers and coaches themselves, which it has become difficult for students in sports or in general to comfortably confide with their teachers due to the fear of discrimination or dislike towards the LGBTQ+ community in general. There are also Hundreds of reports of students feeling uncomfortable being in the same changing rooms as their peers due to the fear of bullying and harassment all due to being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. These are very rare kinds of cases that normally do not occur in 2023 due to the widespread of the LGBTQ+ and the increase in laws to protect the community and the citizens from any harassment or discrimination.
However, there are positive experiences for members part of the LGBTQ+ community, as shown by 16% who have heard positive comments and have experienced positivity from peers and coaches in the sports industry, due to which it has become a community-building experience. The Percentage that has received positive experiences compared to the percentage that has experienced negativity is too low despite it being 2023 in which it has become more important to educate and spread even more awareness about the LGBTQ+ to the younger generation as there is still the fear of discrimination in sports or different types of industries.
It also links to Mental health, as only by having an Accepting environment can the LGBTQ+ community members comfortably take part in sports, able to do what they want while receiving the best mental and physical benefits that the sports industry can provide without the fear of discrimination.
The Sport Community can and has become more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ Community as it can allow more LGBTQ+ members to openly participate in sports activities which also helps promote good and positive experiences to the public and increases the reputation of the Sports industry as well for the percent that has an interest in sports but are too afraid to take part. They should also place a zero-tolerance policy against any potential bullying or discrimination taking place against LGBTQ+ community members. It will be beneficial for coaches or teachers to help promote awareness as stated by the 4% that feel less confident and are unable to confide with an adult within the sports industry or in general.
However, only by identifying the difficult and important challenges can spreading awareness and acceptance within the sports industry make it more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community as the sports industry can become a safe space for young people and encourage people with different sexualities to feel free and able to be themselves as well without having to restrain or restrict themselves due to harassment or discrimination.
We can bring more LGBTQIA+ representation in sports by celebrating the difference in people, which can also show that we are friendly and are able to give positive vibes to young people. We can also keep people safe with their behavior by allowing a number of rules in the sports industry or in schools in general, which can help when coming across any sort of bullying or discrimination as it shows the seriousness of any type of wrong action or word against peers or students and can help protect students that are speaking out due to mistreatment.
Overall, this shows the importance of LGBTQ representation in not only the sports industry but in numerous types of industries and schools in general as well.