By Dirk Smith, MSc, SDL (He/Him).
This has been a common question for many years now, people questioning “why” are LGBTQI sports events still a thing in a so-called “post equality” society. I have been a staunch defender of the relevance of LGBTQI sports events such as Gay Games, Sin City Classic and other events on a local, national and international level because I truly believe they are relevant. Even despite the disasters of recent LGBTQI sports events including the 2015 and 2019 Eurogames as well as the 2017 Outgames (as well as the Outgames brand as a whole).
However, I am starting to question this resolve myself. Why do we need LGBTQI sports events? I ask this because the LGBTQI is now facing an existential crisis that has been a long time coming, but only now exasperated by Covid-19. In the last 5 years, 3 of the biggest LGBTQI sports events have been unmitigated disasters. Plagued by overconfidence, incompetence and straight up crookery, these events and the people behind them have damaged this community in ways that have left athletes broke and running away from it forever. Sure, with large events you can’t expect everything to go perfect and everybody has bad days. But when you start to see patterns of bad behavior emerge without any real resolve, you start to question the validity, relevance and future of the movement. Most importantly, as an athlete who would be paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for event registration, travel and lodging expenses, you ask “is this event worth investing in?”
Coach Dirk, CSCS, is a sport psychology expert, performance coach, teacher, writer, journalist, and athlete. He brings over 10 years of experience as a coach, athlete, personal trainer, fitness instructor, and sports psychologist to drive athletes to build their own self efficacy and express themselves through sport. Learn more about Dirk here!