Sports stars to share LGBT stories at #AuthenticMe event at BBC Sport

The SJA is delighted to support our friends at Sports Media LGBT+ at a special event called #AuthenticMe at BBC’s Salford headquarters next month.

Race-walking world record holder Tom Bosworth and racing driver Charlie Martin will discuss confidence and performance boosts as ‘out’ LGBT athletes with the audience at MediaCityUK.

What are the consequences of coming out as LGBT in sport? When they say ‘it gets better’, how much better does it get? Those questions and more will be answered.

All are welcome – LGBT people and allies – to the event, which is being hosted by BBC Pride in association with BBC Sport and Sports Media LGBT+ – the network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the industry – and supported by both the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) and InterMediaUK.

Chaired by BBC Sport correspondent and broadcaster Katie Gornall, #AuthenticMe will feature the personal testimonies of athletes who partly attribute their achievements to being openly LGBT, such has been the positive impact on their self-confidence, fortitude, and ability to focus.

The audience will hear from Tom Bosworth, (pictured above), a triple world record holder in race walking and Britain’s top athlete in the discipline. In advance of the 2016 Olympics, Tom spoke to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire about his experiences of being a long-distance track competitor who happens to be gay. Since then, he has placed in the top six in Rio, won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast – where he also captained the England team – and continues to break British and world records, most recently in the 3000m race walk at the Anniversary Games in London in July.

 Also appearing at #AuthenticMe will be the racing driver Charlie Martin, who this year has been competing in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, a supporting series to the British Touring Car Championships. Charlie’s career behind the wheel, from hill-climbing towards her ultimate goal of competing at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, was interrupted in 2012 by her transition – “the scariest thing I could ever think of doing”, as she describes it. Her initial return to motorsport proved to be a welcoming one, and since then she has forged ahead with enormous grit and determination. You can hear Charlie tell her inspirational story in full at the event.

There’ll also be a special presentation of the BBC’s new LGBT Sport Podcast, created and hosted by BBC Jersey Sportscene journalist Jack Murley following the success of his radio web series ‘The Other Side’.

And you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Sports Media LGBT+, with our network set to celebrate its first birthday in November, as well as BBC Pride, the SJA, and InterMediaUK. 

Registration to attend #AuthenticMe is open now. You’re invited to join us for a drinks reception from 5.30pm followed by the event itself from 6.30pm, with networking opportunities to follow, on Tuesday 9 October, at BBC Quay House, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays.

For further information, contact

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