Last night, two of the Committee went along to another meeting of the LGBT Sport Cymru group at Sport Wales in Cardiff. The Dragons have been members of this group for about 12 months now, and we sit alongside National Governing Bodies of sport in Wales and other LGBT community groups / organisations who all want to make a different to LGBT sports provision.
The group was established by Sport Wales on the back of some research that they did into the LGB community and sports participation. The research has prompted a number of calls to action by governing bodies and sports clubs, and this group aims to shape some of that action into a strategic, meaningful and focussed approach.
It’s been recognised on the group that up to now we’ve been lacking input from the Trans community. A number of documents are already available to the sports community for advice and guidance, but it’s always better to hear from someone in person.
Therefore, action was taken to identify a Trans person that could come in and share some knowledge and experience. This is where Delia Johnston comes in. What an inspiring woman. Delia was invited to chat to the group about her experiences of being a Transsexual woman, and also her experiences of sport. She spoke to us for about 30 minutes and highlighted the many physical and mental difficulties she has faced by becoming a woman. We were all pretty transfixed; it was an amazing insight into her life. Delia has set up an organisation called ‘Transsexuals in Sport’ and is in high demand to speak to various organisations, both sporting and non-sporting across the UK.
During the discussion we had, it was apparent that we (the Dragons) use the ‘T’ in LGBT quite freely when we talk about our inclusive club policy, but we don’t actively recruit Trans players. We are wholeheartedly a fully inclusive football club; we pride ourselves on welcoming anyone to join us regardless of any of the equality strands or playing ability. We have a really diverse bunch of players, both male and female who are all committed to ensuring that our club is a truly welcoming environment for anyone that joins. We wonder though, if the Trans community knows that we exist and know that we would be really happy to welcome Trans players to join us. It can be a daunting experience to join a new sports club for anyone, but Delia has opened our eyes to how much more difficult it can be for the Trans community.
Thank you to Delia for the inspiring talk and thank you for nudging us to think about how we position ourselves in the whole LGB and T community. We hope that the Trans community in Wales might be interested in connecting with our club and might be inspired to get in touch by what we do.
If you identify as Trans and are interested in getting to know more about the Dragons then we’d love to hear from you. We have football for all abilities and joining us can be a great way to keep fit and meet new people. We are a really friendly bunch of predominantly L, G, B and some straight players. Perhaps you might like to be our first Trans player?