Stacey says “shout louder” for LGBTQ+ equality
Birmingham 2022 will provide an opportunity to send a powerful global message about human rights – and it should not be missed, says England medal hope Stacey Francis-Bayman.
Speaking on a new “Pride House Podcast” – the new series from Pride House Birmingham – the “proud Brummie” is joined by Khakan Qureshi – and it’s available now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
This special series of podcasts are created by the team at Pride House Birmingham and will bring audiences impactful conversations related to sport and LGBTQ+ rights in the Commonwealth. Ahead of Pride House Birmingham opening in July for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Birmingham 2022 will provide an opportunity to send a powerful global message about human rights – and it should not be missed, says England medal hopeful Stacey Francis-Bayman.
The podcast explores connections between Commonwealth sport and LGBTQ+ rights by pairing up athletes, coaches, officials, and organisers for conversations with those who are campaigning for equality across the Commonwealth.
For episode 3, Francis-Bayman is joined by Khakan Qureshi, the founder of the Birmingham South Asians LGBT ‘Finding A Voice’ group.
With over 70 international caps to her name and having won medals before at both the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup, Francis-Bayman is a hugely respected figure within her sport – and she is also a role model for LGBTQ+ people.
Currently in action for West Coast Fever in Australia’s Super Netball competition, she tells the podcast that sport has a responsibility to advocate for inclusion, and even more so during a Commonwealth Games hosted by a British city.
“Something that really grinds my gears and that I hear all the time, especially since being in Australia, is that sport and politics don’t mix, and it drives me mad!” she tells host Jon Holmes.
“I’m not just an athlete. You don’t get to just consume who I am by the way in which I throw and catch the ball on court. That isn’t the legacy I want to leave. That isn’t the messaging that I want people to take away. Whatever we consume and whenever we watch, you should also be able to pause and think about athletes as holistic human beings and not want to be oblivious to who they are and what they stand for.”
“I firmly believe that sport is a fantastic space to be able to push and drive home really important messages. If you’re coming from a position of power – like England and the UK certainly is – it would be a shame and a waste to not influence and support other countries.”
Pride House Birmingham, located in the heart of the city’s Gay Village, will open its doors on July 22, a week before the start of Birmingham 2022, offering a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ visitors and allies and a varied programme of events and activities.
For Qureshi, who is part of the venue’s Advisory Board team, it’s a chance to celebrate the multicultural diversity of the West Midlands and demonstrate how representation like that provided by Francis-Bayman and fellow out athletes can help to drive positive change.
The campaigner was awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List for his extensive work around LGBT equality in the region.
“I think it’s really good for Birmingham, to show visibility and authenticity and to say that we’re just ordinary people at the end of the day. Being LGBTQ+ is just one part of our identity but we have to look at the whole aspect of our being. Having people of colour come through to talk about it is admirable in itself. When I was growing up, I didn’t have a role model.”
“For the next generation coming through, to have somebody that they can turn to and look up to like Stacey, is a good thing. With social media nowadays, you can spread understanding and share that information so people don’t feel alone any more.”
Among other talking points in this episode, Francis-Bayman and Qureshi compare their experiences of growing up LGBTQ+ in the Birmingham area; the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights in Australia, and India; and their visions for what Pride House Birmingham can offer.
There is an ongoing recruitment drive for volunteers to help at the venue in July and August, with Open Days to be held in Birmingham on Sunday, May 29, and Sunday, June 5. Those interested can sign up via the PHB website where more information is available.
‘The Pride House Podcast’ on Podfollow – https://podfollow.com/the-pride-house-podcast
Pride House Birmingham – https://pridehousebham.org.uk/
Pride House Birmingham on the official Birmingham 2022 website – https://www.birmingham2022.com/news/2556327/pride-house-birmingham-will-explore-diversity-across-the-commonwealth
Article about Pride House Podcast Episode 3 on Sports Media LGBT+ website – https://sportsmedialgbt.com/im-not-just-an-athlete-stacey-francis-bayman-talks-authenticity-and-advocacy-on-pride-house-podcast
Pride House International – http://www.pridehouseinternational.org/