IGLFA attended the Compete Sports Diversity Summit in Tempe Arizona (May 21-23, 2021) and was part of a group discussion on new opportunities for Women in LGBTQ+ sports and how women have changed the sporting world more generally in the last decade. Additionally, the panel also addressed the perception of transgender women in sports – on the obstacles that have been placed before them in recent years. The high point of the discussion was the question and answer session – in which primarily male-dominated sports and sports organizations wanted to find ways to help open doors and help this specific cause.
Sara Gross was one of the speakers at the conference and she was very impressed at how IGLFA was not afraid to ask the difficult questions in a room that was 80% men and 20% women. She mentioned that she could hear the passion in the desire to improve women’s participation in soccer and LGBTQ+ sports but nothing was working. Her comments were impressive and shocking to say the least. She stated that not all women are meant to be leaders and that is one reason why there is such a push to train women on how to be leaders in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. She also acknowledged that she has been consistently criticized [women’s organizations] for working with mostly male dominated groups.
Sara suggested IGLFA continue with our path, taking small steps until one hits and not to get too frustrated with the responses and criticism we get. Women’s groups are dealing with the same issues as well.