The European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) was founded in 1989. Its aims are to:
- fight against discrimination in sport on grounds of sexual preference
- stimulate integration in sport and emancipation of lesbians and gays
- enable and support the coming out of gay and lesbian sports men and women
- exchange information and enable co-ordination between European sport groups and tournaments
- support the founding of new gay/lesbian/bisexual/straight/transgendered and mixed sport groups
We are a federation which is open to gay, lesbian, straight and mixed sport groups and organizations. At the moment this network has more than 15,000 members within over 100 organisations and sport groups. In the EGLSF all member organisations are autonomous: the Federation is operating as a servicing and co-ordinating body.
We promote, amongst other things, the organisation of EuroGames, the European Gay & Lesbian Championships. The last EuroGames 2012 were held in Budapest, Hungary. The next games will be held in Stockholm, Sweden in 2015
Our members are invited to join the General Assembly. This annual Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Federation. The members of the EGLSF board are elected (for two years) by the General Assembly.
Sport for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people
You may ask:
Why is it necessary to have special events and sports groups just for the LGBTIQ community?
The reasons vary from one country to another, since every country in Europe is different. However, most of us know it is not easy to come out about your sexuality in a ‘regular’ sports group. Some may even have been in situations where they felt harassed, were called names, or worse. They may have felt that by being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender they were not accepted by their fellow club members.
LGBT sports groups experience the same discrimination when they want to compete in regular events or join existing sports associations. Did you know that in some countries it isn’t possible to rent a volleyball court if you say it’s for an LGBT event? We think this is not acceptable. Sport is supposed to be fun.
We therefore need to work towards a climate in sports where people can be what they are, of their own free will, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight. The EGLSF works towards that goal, together with LGBT mainstream organisations, like ILGA and others, as well as with European institutions like the European Council and the European Union.