Interview with Prof. Hartmann-Tews, head of research for Outsport

Today Outsport reaserch team of the German Sport University Cologne published the full report with results of the first EU-wide survey based on direct experiences of LGBTI people in sport. We asked something more about it to prof. Hartamann-Tews

Prof. Hartmann-Tews, you are head of the scientific research of the OUTSPORT project. In your opinion, why was a comprehensive survey like this necessary and what was the aim of this survey?

There is a lack of evidence about the situation and experiences of LGBTI* people in sport in Europe. For this reason, we conducted an EU-wide survey to investigate their diverse experiences in a wider context. The results provide empirical evidence to develop a set of measures that are going to be implemented within the scope of the OUTSPORT project.

What are the core results? Are there any surprising results that need further investigation?

Homophobia and transphobia are perceived as each a big problem in sport. The majority of respondents, i.e. more than 80%, witness homo-/transphobic language in sport, but also in other areas of life like work, school, and leisure. As we know from international research, homo-/transphobic language is not only discriminating but has serious negative effects, particularly on young LGBTI* people. Another core result is, that 16% of those who are currently active in sport have had at least one negative personal experience in the last 12 months. However, just 8% officially report a homo-/transphobic incident and more than one third does not know a contact to turn to – neither an organisation nor an individual – in instances of being discriminated against in a sports context.

How are you going to implement the results on a practical level?

Right from the beginning of the OUTSPORT project, all of the project partners set up a variety of information-sharing and educational activities in order to raise awareness about discrimination in sport based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or sex characteristics. Our results give evidence that sporting cultures must become more diverse. We are ready to support federations, local clubs, government agencies and national and international organisations to develop respective strategies.