The Trevor Project has partnered with Puma to launch a free online training course on supporting LGBTQ+ youth in sports. Titled #REFORMTheLockerRoom, the course is aimed at coaches, athletic directors, and other authority figures in youth sports.
The digital education course has been three years in the making, all to ensure quality and accuracy of information. According to a press release, “The curriculum was informed by extensive research and community involvement via roundtable seminars with public educators, sports leaders, and LGBTQ peer organizations with the goal of creating a tangible, actionable program to provide youth-serving adults with LGBTQ cultural competency training.”
After another record year of attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, particularly the rights of young trans people, education in youth athletics is sorely needed. Of the nearly 600 proposed anti-LGBTQ+ bills, over 60 are focused on trans inclusion in sports. A previous report by the Trevor Project found that trans youth are nearly half as likely to participate in sports as their cis LGBQ peers. 68% of LGBTQ+ respondents overall said they had never participated in sports, citing locker room anxiety and fear of discrimination.
#REFORMTheLockerRoom seeks to support the mental health of LGBTQ+ athletes by promoting allyship at the leadership level. Digital courses and other resources are available here.
“Peer communities can be a lifeline for LGBTQ young people, and historically, sports have not been a welcoming or accepting space for LGBTQ young people to participate openly as their authentic selves,” said Head of Internal Training at The Trevor Project, Nova Bright. “While the sports community is making strides in the right direction and influential athletes are opening up about their LGBTQ identities, there is still more work to be done to ensure that LGBTQ young people can feel safe to participate in sports without fear of bullying or discrimination. Thanks to PUMA’s partnership, we’re hopeful that this training will reach coaches and athletic directors across the country and equip them with the tools necessary to foster greater understanding and acceptance.”
“As a leading sports brand, we strive to create and promote a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ youth that want to play sports,” said Puma’s DEI Director, Michelle Marshall. “We are excited to launch the training course, in partnership with The Trevor Project, that will become a fundamental educational tool for all youth-facing adults in sports.”