Motorsport UK stands with LGBTQ+ racing community throughout Pride Month

Thursday 01 June 2023

  • Motorsport UK aims to ensure UK motorsport is a safe and welcoming space for all, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and age.
  • As part of its Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy, Motorsport UK created the LGBTQ+ Expert Committee to understand the challenges members of the LGBTQ+ racing community face within the sport.
  • A series of measures have since been introduced to educate the racing community, change attitudes and ensure all members are treated equally and with respect.
  • Race with Respect – a programme to promote positive and progressive behaviour on and off track – was relaunched in 2022, with a series of educational modules made available for racing Clubs.

Motorsport UK is proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ racing community throughout Pride Month and will be undertaking a range of initiatives as well as supporting the UK motorsport community to showcase that motorsport is an accessible, inclusive and safe space for all.

This month, all Motorsport UK Clubs have received a bespoke toolkit to celebrate Pride with their members. From documents on inclusive language, a reminder of Motorsport UK’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy to ready to use social media graphics, templates and graphics for stickers Motorsport UK Clubs will be encouraged to share with their own community.

Motorsport UK will host a stand at Oxford Pride, held on 3 June in the centre of Oxford in the heart of the UK’s motorsport valley. Visitors can ask questions about motorsport, sign up for information on getting involved and meet members of the Motorsport UK team. Additionally, later in the month, Motorsport UK will host a public webinar with a panel of LGBTQ+ members of the motorsport community to highlight the continued need for these types of actions.

Motorsport UK launched its EDI Strategy – available HERE – in January 2023 to inspire and enable more people to participate in the sport in a safe, fair, fun, inclusive and progressive environment.

Motorsport UK has a number of committees dedicated to understanding the challenges different sectors of the motorsport community face and thereafter putting in place steps to create long-term solutions for all participants to have a positive experience within the sport.

One of the committees is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, which has too often felt marginalised and been under-represented within motorsport environments to date. The Expert Committee is chaired by Richard Morris, Co-Founder of Racing Pride. The committee has since identified areas that need to be addressed, in particular attitudes and behaviours. In a membership survey conducted in 2021, it was found that LGBTQ+ licence holders and volunteers were five times more likely to have had a negative experience within motorsport.

Education and advocacy have therefore been a major point for the Committee. Key policy documents, including safeguarding policies and behavioural guidelines, have been updated, along with the creation of a variety of resources for motorsport Clubs to benchmark their own environment, change where necessary and facilitate positive behaviour. Language has also been updated in several places to make clear that initiatives and opportunities are open to, and welcoming of, members of the LGBTQ+ community. These workstreams are all ongoing, with dedicated sub-groups within the LGBTQ+ Expert Committee working on a number of fronts.

The progress so far was highlighted and celebrated by a robust engagement in the most recent Rainbow Laces campaign. Rolled out across UK motorsport, hundreds of motorsport participants as well as Motorsport UK staff, committee members, and academy members replaced their regular shoelaces with rainbow-coloured laces to show their support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Motorsport UK will use Pride Month to showcase the positive steps the organisation is taking to make motorsport a space for all and continue to raise awareness of the importance of active allyship.

Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK: “Participating in motorsport should be enjoyable for everyone. We have understood, however, that this is not necessarily everyone’s experience. Through the LGBTQ+ Expert Committee we are working to understand how we can change this. Some changes are related to attitudes and behaviour and we need to work alongside our Clubs and community to translate action into positive experiences. We are proud to continue this work alongside Richard and his team to show motorsport is a safe and welcoming space for all.”

Richard Morris, Racing Pride Co-Founder & LGBTQ+ Expert Committee Chair: “It’s fantastic to be working with Motorsport UK as the governing body to make sure that LGBTQ+ people are, and feel, fully included across the sport.  A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes from members of the Committee and Motorsport UK’s staff and we are making tangible progress in putting in place the structures, policies and education which will improve experiences for LGBTQ+ people. This Pride Month we want to celebrate that progress, as well as underline the importance of ongoing collaboration with Motorsport UK’s Clubs and the entire motorsport community to continue that journey towards creating a sport which is truly inclusive.”

Resources are also available for motorsport Clubs in our Club Toolkit, here.