Pre-launch will celebrate LGBT sporting history

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A pre-launch event will be held at Twickenham rugby stadium next month for LGBT History Month.

The yearly celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans culture will focus on sport in February 2011 and 2012 to coincide with Britain hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

The November 2nd event is designed to raise awareness of the project and encourage schools and sports organisers to find ways of celebrating LGBT history in sport. It will also include the third National LGBT Sports Summit.

The highlight of the evening presentation will be a celebrity sports panel discussion, with sporting legends Gareth Thomas and John Amaechi, both of whom are become patrons of LGBT History Month, alongside Claire Harvey who recently represented Great Britain in the Sitting Volleyball World Championships.

LGBT History Month co-chair Tony Fenwick said: “Sport is an exciting challenge for us and we are pleased to be working with Pride Sports, the UK’s leading LGBT sports equity organisation, to deliver our pre-launch event.

“Sport plays a key role in society, yet there are few visible LGBT sportspeople. Many gay and bisexual men are intimidated by the macho culture of sport and are excluded from an early age and yet everyone has the right to feel valued playing sport.

“We hope that raising the profile of LGBT participation in sport will provoke discussion and enable more people to be comfortable and visible in their clubs.

“We’ve got some great resources on our website, to help schools, sports clubs and community groups to organise events.

“Rugby has one of the toughest images of any sport and we’re honoured to have the home of England rugby as the venue for this event and to have rugby legend Gareth Thomas as one of our guest speakers.”