A network has been launched for LGBT+ people involved in horse racing.
‘Racing With Pride’ has been created for all those involved in racing — including workforce, participants or fans — who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as allies of the LGBT+ community.
Broadcaster Clare Balding said the platform is a “welcome innovation”.
“I hope this will encourage more LGBT people already in racing to feel appreciated and supported,” she said.
“Racing is trying hard to embrace a wider audience and to make its own diverse workforce feel confident and comfortable.
“As for those who have yet to discover the beauty of racehorses and the fun of a race day, I look forward to when we can celebrate with the first Pride Racing Festival, which will no doubt have a carnival atmosphere!”
The network’s three main goals are to support and provide a safe space for LGBT+ people to meet, and promote a better understanding of LGBT+ inclusion.
“It is an increasingly challenging time for many in racing and this can be exaggerated for minority groups,” said a statement from the diversity in racing steering group.
“Racing With Pride aims to be a community in which people can find support and camaraderie, as well as influence social change and promote a diverse and fully inclusive industry. Everyone who identifies as LGBT+ should feel able to be their true selves without fear of discrimination.
“It is hoped the network will act as a platform for shaping future activity, for example racing joining Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces activity in November.”
A “rainbow ready for racing” toolkit has been developed in collaboration with Sports Media LGBT+ to help with conversations about inclusion.