Episode 1 of 'The Pride House Podcast' - the place for conversations about sports and LGBTQ+ rights in the Commonwealth - we unearth stories from Pride House Glasgow, the first venue of its kind to be held during the Commonwealth Games. A Pride House is a welcoming hub devoted to inclusion and culture that is established at a sporting event. Guests include competing athletes, fans and spectators, VIP visitors, and people fulfilling other roles in the event itself. Pride House Glasgow co-organisers Hugh Torrance and Katherine Burrows join host Jon Holmes to discuss what they set out to achieve in 2014 and how the space that they helped to create brought together a diverse mix of people from across the member nations.
Hugh and Katherine also share special memories of the activities they put on in Glasgow and pass on advice for those interested in volunteering at Pride House Birmingham which will open its doors and welcome visitors in July
In Episode 2 of 'The Pride House Podcast' - the destination for conversations about sports and LGBTQ+ rights - we head Down Under to learn about the success of Pride House Gold Coast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The venue at Surfers Paradise in Queensland welcomed over 5,000 visitors who enjoyed entertainment, exhibitions, workshops and other activities created to grow understanding of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, in the region, and throughout the Commonwealth instead.
Joining host Jon Holmes for this episode is Matt Hall, who was the Project Manager of Team Rainbow Inc. - the not-for-profit organisation that made Pride House Gold Coast happen.
Matt's fellow guest is Caroline Layt, who was a lead writer on 'Australian LGBTIQ+ Sporting Trailblazers', one of two outstanding large-scale exhibitions that were on display. As trailblazing athletes themselves, Matt and Caroline were both featured in that exhibition.
They chat about how their involvement came about; the hard work they undertook to bring the exhibition and Pride House itself to life; recruiting ambassadors such as Olympic champions Matthew Mitcham and Natalie Cook; how Tom Daley's mum helped to set up a visit from the diver with his then-fiance, Dustin Lance Black; and much more!
Matt and Caroline share lots of fond memories and the conversation is the ideal accompaniment to our debut episode when we looked back at Pride House Glasgow at the 2014 Games. It's sure to whet your appetite for Pride House Birmingham, which will open in July and welcome visitors throughout Birmingham 2022.
Episode 3 of 'The Pride House Podcast' - supporting Pride House Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games - focuses on Birmingham itself, with one of the city's most successful athletes and one of its most prominent equality campaigners in conversation with host Jon Holmes.
Stacey Francis-Bayman has won over 70 caps for England Netball since making her international debut in 2010. She grew up in Bromsgrove, a town just outside Birmingham, and she's picked up medals at both the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games during her career to date.
When the defender was announced as a Pride House Ambassador in February 2021, she spoke of "championing visibility" and helping to educate around being LGBTQ+. On this episode, Stacey joins us from Perth, Western Australia, where she's currently playing for West Coast Fever in Suncorp Super Netball.
Her fellow guest is the activist Khakan Qureshi, who is a member of the Pride House Birmingham Advisory Board team. His dedication to LGBTQ+ equality was recognised in the 2021 New Year's Honours List when he was awarded a British Empire Medal.
Khakan set up 'Finding A Voice', an organisation for South Asian LGBTQ+ people and allies. He advocates for inclusive education, and played an important role in helping to bring an end to the protests held outside Birmingham schools in 2019. On the podcast, he talks through his experiences as a gay Muslim, and his hopes that more role models from his communities in the West Midlands will step forward.
It's an emotional and uplifting conversation with two proud Brummies. You can follow Stacey on Twitter and Instagram, while Khakan can also be found on Twitter.