International sports stars support National Student Pride

Besi Besemar March 4, 2013

Caroline Lucas MP cuts the ribbon to open Student Pride 2013
Caroline Lucas MP cuts the ribbon to open Student Pride 2013

National Student Pride returned to Brighton over the weekend (March 1-3) with a series of events at the Dome complex.

Highlight of an afternoon of events on Saturday, March 2, was a debate on Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport.

The panel featured international sports stars, including:

• NBA basket ball player John Amaechi who came out when he left the sport and is now a psychologist.

• Former England Rugby star Ben Cohen an equal rights campaigner and director of the Stand Up Foundation which encourages people to stand up to bullying.

• Former Chelsea and England footballer Graeme Le Saux who was the victim of a whispering campaign that he was gay even though he is straight and married. During a premier league match, Liverpool footballer Robbie Fowler kept inviting him to give him one “up the arse”. The tabloids had a field day at the time and Graeme said he had no support or anyone to turn to to help deal with the publicity and pressure he endured.

Homophobia in Sports debate
Homophobia in Sports debate

Other panelists included Delia Johnston, an anti transphobia campaigner, Alex Davis, swimmer and chair of the London bid for the 2018 Gay Games. Ed Connell, a barrister, judge, manager of gay friendly football club London Titans and vice chair of the London FA inclusion advisory group: and Danny Lynch, media officer for Kick It Out.

The debate was brilliantly chaired by BBC journalist and presenter of Dragon’s Den,  Evan Davis who allowed the panelists plenty of time to gets their points over while allowing questions from the floor.

Other events included a job fair supported by businesses such as Asda, Ernst & Young and Accenture, live music and ‘A Queston Time Debate’ featuring: Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude Magazine: Charlie Condou actor in Coronation Street: Liz Bingham, Ernst & Young Manager Partner for People UK and Ireland: Matthew Cain, Culture editor Channel 4 News: Elly Barnes, Independent Pink List No 1 winner 2011: Paris Lees, trans activist: and James Wharton who is s serving soldier.

The students went on a pub crawl round bars in the gay village on Saturday evening, returning to the Corn Exchange for a Club Night at 10.30pm which included live performances from Lucy Spraggan, boy band Class A and girl band Vanquish.

Student Pride 2013