LGBT

BSUK logo in rainbow coloursSoftball in the UK has a long history of being a welcoming and inclusive sport for members of the LGBT community, and this is supported by a survey carried out by BaseballSoftballUK in 2016, which suggested that 14% of softball players identify as LGBT, compared to roughly 8% of the population as a whole.

LGBT players are spread throughout a playing community of more than 24,000 in cities and towns around the UK.

While BSUK’s direct work with the LGBT community has so far taken place primarily in London and Manchester, the LGBT Advisory Panel was created in May 2017 to widen the scope and reach of that work.
 

The LGBT Panel

The purpose of the Panel is to set the strategy for BSUK’s LGBT work and to monitor and evaluate BSUK’s effectiveness in delivering the strategy.  In addition, the Panel will help to draft relevant policy and will formally engage more people from the baseball and softball communities in the development of the sports for LGBT participants.  The panel will engage with the Development Strategy Committee.

Below are some brief statements by or about each of the Panel members:

Lyndsey Bygraves

I strive to understand and learn more about LGBT history and current issues.  I have been coaching adult softball, and part of my drive for increasing LGBT participation and inclusivity is to increase people’s confidence to be unashamedly  and unapologetically themselves.

 

 

 

Luis Arrevillagas

I am the Development Manager for BSUK in the North West.  I've played baseball since I was five and Softball for the last 10 years.  I live in Manchester and I'm very passionate about getting people involved in sports.  Baseball and Softball are very inclusive and they are a great tool to get everyone together having fun.  I have been the chair of the LGBT panel since its foundation and have greatly enjoyed meeting so many people in the process.

 


 

Cristian Speroni

I have played for the past five years with the London Raiders.  Having never played before joining, I have gone through the process of learning the sport from scratch as well as engaging with my wider LGBT community.  I have served on the Raiders’ committee for the past three years as the treasurer as well as getting involved in other areas such as training, social and tournaments.  I value the importance of sport within the LGBT community as a means of confidence-building, socialising and community-building.

 

Thomas Haywood

I am an international baseball umpire who is gay, with many years of experience umpiring for the BBF and in Europe, and I am an event leader for Outdoorlads, who run a range of sociable outdoor activities for gay and bisexual men right across the UK.

 

 

 

Kate Densley

I am President of the University of York Softball and Baseball Club and started my softball journey two years ago when I began my studies at York. I was immediately drawn in by the inclusive nature of the club, and the sports as a whole, which is something I strive to uphold and promote during my presidency. I love welcoming new members and showing them the non-judgemental, warm and friendly atmosphere that softball and baseball offers. These sports are a great fit for the LGBT community and I hope to help increase LGBT sports participation among young people and in universities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Joe Burns

I have played softball for 30 plus years and have been a BASU umpire for 10 years. I am also a member of the Edinburgh Softball Committee. I have a child that is a transgender and going through gender reassignment so I wanted to support BSUK in making softball available to everyone.

 

 

 

Katie Hall

I have been playing softball for the London Raiders for over 13 years and have participated as a committee member and team captain over the years.  I love the way softball can bring together people from all walks of life, and that as a community we are striving to be inclusive.  I look forward to helping baseball and softball find creative ways to pioneer LGBTQ+ involvement in sport and share our learning with the international softball community and beyond.
 

 

Want to get involved?

The LGBT Advisory Panel is open to new members and welcomes guests at its meetings.

If you have an interest in the work of the Panel, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Articles:

LGBT Panel looks to the future

LGBT Advisory Panel looks for visibility with the playing community

Umpiring with rubber baseballs in Xi'an, China


Blogs:

08 September - Playing with Pride (Stuart Dunlop)
 

Podcasts

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06vtdps
 

Resources:

Inclusive Softball Rules

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