Jonathan MacBride: “I love seeing people be confident with who they are, and be happy and open with who they are.”

For some, there is a particular moment in their life that they can pinpoint as being when they decided to speak out about what they were passionate about, and what they believe in. For Jonathan MacBride, it was the exact opposite. Organising and advocating only ever seemed like a natural progression. Much of what MacBride …

Continue reading Jonathan MacBride: “I love seeing people be confident with who they are, and be happy and open with who they are.”

Richard Gilbert: “Rugby helps with my mental health, it’s a real solace, so for me lockdown was real.”

It is the nature of inclusive clubs that had Richard Gilbert ahead of many other newcomers when he first joined the Glasgow Raptors by virtue of purely being a fan of rugby. Of course, he never felt like that was the case. By his own admission, he did not know what he was doing the …

Continue reading Richard Gilbert: “Rugby helps with my mental health, it’s a real solace, so for me lockdown was real.”

Luke Harding: “I definitely feel I wouldn’t have engaged in something like a rugby club without some kind of LGBT+ inclusivity or safeguarding.”

It has been a particularly strange year for Glasgow Raptors chair Luke Harding. Taking over the role after the pandemic had already started, to call it a baptism of fire might be being generous. He has had to deal with matches and tournaments being cancelled, being unable to train for long spells and the risk …

Continue reading Luke Harding: “I definitely feel I wouldn’t have engaged in something like a rugby club without some kind of LGBT+ inclusivity or safeguarding.”

Chris Young: “If a top player comes out, good for him, but when it’s in your face you can see that everyone’s here to play sport at the end of the day, and everyone’s the same on the pitch.”

It should not be a surprise that Chris Young is a rugby player. Growing up in Larne, his dad – a life-long member of the local rugby club – had him playing touch and tag ruby from an early age. He was not allowed to play football at school, where rugby dominated in the form …

Continue reading Chris Young: “If a top player comes out, good for him, but when it’s in your face you can see that everyone’s here to play sport at the end of the day, and everyone’s the same on the pitch.”

Manish Modi: “Graces has allowed me to be a good cricketer, but a better person as well.”

Tomorrow a history-making match will be taking place as Graces and the Birmingham Unicorns face off in the first ever cricket match between two LGBT+ inclusive clubs. While the Unicorns are the newcomers on the block, with Lachlan Smith making the first moves to start the club last year, Graces have gone for decades without …

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Frazer Robertson: “You don’t reach the top and then stop. You always have to work at it, LGBT+ inclusion in sport is never going to go away.”

Even among those who would class themselves as very sporty people, floorball is not a discipline that many will be familiar with. The simplest way of describing it is as ice hockey without the ice, and slightly less contact. Teams of six play over three 20-minute periods, usually indoors, with a ball instead of a …

Continue reading Frazer Robertson: “You don’t reach the top and then stop. You always have to work at it, LGBT+ inclusion in sport is never going to go away.”

Duncan Petrie: “We don’t like to call ourselves an LGBT+ team, we are an inclusive team, and anyone is welcome to join.”

Duncan Petrie had always wanted to play rugby, he just never saw the opportunity to actually go and do it. That is a perspective that many people within the LGBT+ community may relate to, but in Petrie's case it was as much to do with location as it was his sexuality. Growing up in Alford, …

Continue reading Duncan Petrie: “We don’t like to call ourselves an LGBT+ team, we are an inclusive team, and anyone is welcome to join.”

Kyle Yeats: “I know the club was a bit of a lifeline for me during the first lockdown, and I’m sure it has been for others too.”

As someone who was never particularly interested in sports growing up, the idea that Kyle Yeats would be doing PR for a rugby club never even came close to entering his mind. Holding the role of publicity officer at Aberdeen Taexali though, that is the exact situation that the 30-year-old finds himself in. Born and …

Continue reading Kyle Yeats: “I know the club was a bit of a lifeline for me during the first lockdown, and I’m sure it has been for others too.”

Cailum Lawson: “A lot of people just don’t think that gay people play sports. We do, and some of us are pretty damn good at it.”

Inclusive clubs are a place where people who have dropped out of sport can return in a welcoming environment. Equally, they can provide a chance for people who have never felt sport could be a place for them to take their first steps. For those who are well-versed in the sport of their choice though, …

Continue reading Cailum Lawson: “A lot of people just don’t think that gay people play sports. We do, and some of us are pretty damn good at it.”

Ruairidh Macdonald: “Everything that I had feared it was going to be was proven wrong.”

Growing up between Texas and Dubai, Ruairidh Macdonald had never come across an inclusive rugby club before coming home to Aberdeen for university. With the oil and gas industry sending his family around the world, Macdonald found himself far from the north east of Scotland, but he still managed to play rugby on the other …

Continue reading Ruairidh Macdonald: “Everything that I had feared it was going to be was proven wrong.”