On 17 May, individuals, institutions, organisations and companies from around the world honoured the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), which raises awareness around the violence and discrimination that the LGBTIQ+ community still faces globally, but also in Europe. This commemoration is particularly strong in the European region, and across the European Union, with (among many) a flurry of events, illuminated buildings, initiatives, and reaffirmations of support and calls to action.    
 
High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell’s 2022 IDAHOT statement notably recalled that ‘over the last 10 years, we have seen signs of progress worldwide. Yet, discrimination and exclusion because of sexual orientation and gender identity persist, and we are witnessing a worrying pushback of the rights of LGBTI persons. Levels of violence against LGBTI persons are also alarming, even though largely  underreported.’1 
 
For the first time ever, the European Commission adopted the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025 in November 2020, a significant step towards ensuring and protecting LGBTIQ rights, which includes a broad list of actions and legislative proposals. 
 
Like a vast majority of institutions and organisations, EuropeActive and EREPS have adapted their logos to the rainbow colours for Pride Month over June 2022. These symbols embody our organisation’s commitment to promote and safeguard an inclusive and welcoming environment for all across the fitness and physical activity ecosystem.  
 
Rachel Young, Director of Business Development, Myzone and Vice-Chair of EuropeActive’s Inclusion Advisory Group: 
 
‘As Vice-Chair of EuropeActive’s Inclusion Advisory Group, and as a member of the LGBTIQ+ community, it is fantastic to see not only the acknowledgment and support EuropeActive is showing to Pride Month and the community, but also to recognise how this has evolved in the past 12 months. By taking a clear stance on this topic, EuropeActive is further emphasising the need to support and drive inclusion, in the broadest of terms, in all spheres and sectors, which includes the fitness and physical activity sector.  
 
The message we would like to share with the sector is that it is always the right time to do the right thing, to show support, and to take action- however small you may perceive that step to be. Here’s to engaging, welcoming, and supporting more communities across the fitness and physical activity sector, across territories, and to uniting people- all people!’ 
 
EuropeActive’s Sectoral Charter on Inclusion, Anti-Discrimination and Fair Treatment can be found here
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Jun 2, 2022 By Pauline Joskin