Category Archives: Inclusion

Jack Dunne: Exeter Chiefs lock hopes to inspire other LGBTQ+ men

An imposing 6ft 8in lock is nothing new in the Premiership, but Exeter’s Jack Dunne will be the league’s only openly LGBTQ+ player when he makes his debut for the club.

The 23-year-old summer signing from Leinster follows in the footsteps of Gareth Thomas and former Saracens back Sam Stanley, as well as current Premiership referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and long-serving Welsh official Nigel Owens.

“Hopefully once there are one or two more people it will start to feel that this is something they can say and it won’t be a big thing,” Dunne, who identifies as bisexual, told BBC Sport.

“Hopefully it would be good for other gay or bisexual men to see people like me and hopefully it’ll give them a bit of confidence to be able to be who they are.” More

Soul Cap: Afro swimming cap approved after Olympic ban

A swimming cap for afro hair has been approved for use in top-level competitions.

The specialised covering – designed for thick, curly hair and styles such as dreadlocks, weaves and braids – was banned from last year’s Olympics.

Manufacturer Soul Cap described the approval from governing body Fina as “a huge step in the right direction”.

“We’re excited to see the future of a sport that’s becoming more inclusive,” it said.

Fina executive director Brent Nowicki said the announcement “follows a period of review and discussion on cap design between Fina and Soul Cap over the past year”, in a statement reported by the Metro. More

‘Inclusive Barbies are a major step in my life’

“It’s a major step in the toy industry and in my life. It made me feel proud of who I was.”

James Stewart is among those celebrating the new Barbie dolls that are being released today.

Mattel, the company that makes them, has released a range of more diverse dolls.

For the first time, Barbie is seen with a hearing aid, a prosthetic limb and a wheelchair, while a Ken doll has the skin condition vitiligo.

James, who has the skin condition, says it “felt quite surreal” to hold. More

Save Venice: The forgotten female artists being rediscovered

Who decides which artists are remembered and which are forgotten? With only a small fraction of the art in museums by women, efforts are being made, at the Venice Biennale and further afield, to change long-standing narratives.

Inside the Church of San Marziale, beside a canal in central Venice, specialist art handlers are high up on scaffolding above one of the church’s second altars, trying to tease out two canvases that have been nailed to the wall of the church for several hundred years.

The paintings, which are believed to date from the late 1720s or early 1730s, are by a woman artist called Giulia Lama. She may have been the first female artist in Venice to produce major commissions for churches. The daughter of an artist, she never married and was a mathematician and a published poet.

At the time she was dismissed by some of her male contemporaries. So much so that in 1728, an abbot and man of science, Antonio Conti, wrote: “The poor girl is persecuted by painters, but her virtues triumph over her enemies.”

According to some reports, the other artists and critics at the time focused on what they decided were her unremarkable, almost unappealing physical attributes – they asked how a woman of such prosaic appearance could produce such sophisticated paintings. More

BBC Radio 3 to shine light on ‘forgotten’ composers

BBC Radio 3 is to premiere three forgotten orchestral works by composers from diverse ethnic backgrounds as part of an ongoing push to expand the classical repertoire.

Works by Margaret Bonds, Ali Osman and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges will be heard for the first time in a broadcast on 2 February.

The concert is the first result of a year-long collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which funded research into Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers.

The seven researchers who were awarded funding last spring have been excavating pieces of music that have been rarely performed and, in some cases, never recorded. More

LGBT Sport Podcast at 200: Jessica Andrade, Gareth Thomas, Jack Dunne and other memorable episodes

There was the cricket match that made history. The 9/11 hero who inspired the world’s largest amateur rugby tournament. The Formula 1 world champion who spoke out as an LGBTQ+ ally. And the elite referee who shared his story publicly for the first time.

The LGBT Sport Podcast has covered all of those stories – and many, many more – over its 200 episodes. So picking out its most memorable moments is quite a challenge.

When we published our very first podcast on 25 September 2018, with a basic and only a general understanding of how to get episodes into a person’s feed, we weren’t sure how long we would be around for.

Yet in the three years since, we’ve covered a wealth of stories across more than 40 sports. More

Afro wigs: Norfolk hair donor proud of ‘historic breakthrough’

A girl who was originally told her afro hair was unsuitable for children’s wigs said she was “really proud” her locks were now being used.

Carly Gorton, 11, from Norfolk, had urged the Little Princess Trust charity to rethink after it said afro hair was too delicate for wig-making.

It said wigs were now possible after research and a trial, and described them as a “historic breakthrough”.

“It’s really beautiful,” said Carly, of one of the new creations.

The charity provides wigs made from real hair for children who have lost their own due to cancer treatment or for other reasons.

Carly wanted to donate some of her hair but was originally told last year that it was not suitable.

After pressing the charity to look again at the issue, prototypes were developed and approved for use. More

Unlocked: 35 female sports stars join charity programme to increase diversity in sport

Thirty-five leading sportswomen have joined a charity programme to tackle the lack of diversity across sport.

Footballers Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir and five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft are among those who have joined ‘Unlocked’, which has been set up by the Women’s Sport Trust.

The athletes share experiences and work with industry experts to help tackle issues relating to women in sport.

In total, 27 different sports are represented by the group.

“It has been a challenging year for many but as we come out of Covid-19 there is no better time to turbo-charge our effort and continue to unlock the value of women’s sport,” said Tammy Parlour, co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust.

“We believe the best way to do this is by supporting these elite women and connecting them together.

“Individually they are strong advocates for change but together they are unstoppable.” More