Sport Disrupted Conference

30. – 31. Oct 2019 – Heinrich-Böll-Foundation

Sport Disrupted: Sex_uality Matters (Conference)

Sex_uality matters, and this becomes most apparent in the sports world: Competition is organized around normative notions of two, and only two biological sexes. But what happens if athletes fail to match the idealized versions of femininity and masculinity? Following the case of Ugandan middle-distance runner Annet Negesa, the film tackles the discriminating and racist sex testing policies enforced by sports governing bodies.

The film is based on the 2019 international conference „Sport disrupted. Sex_uality matters“: LGBTIQ and feminist sports activists engaged in a critical conversation about gender binary, sex testing, homo-, inter- and trans-phobia in sports, and mobilized for joint efforts to fight for a more inclusive sports world.


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Sport is about performance only, so sports organisations claim, and sports policies promote sports for all. Yet, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) still affect participation. Grassroots and nonprofit LGBTIQ initiatives, activist athletes, sports policy makers and social scientists were discussed:
  • effects of sports gender binary and heteronormativity on amateur and professional athletes
  • consequences of homophobia / transphobia / interphobia on the daily lives of amateurs and professionals
  • sport as tool for empowering LBGTIQ people
  • visions and possibilities for an inclusive and non-binary sports world
  • challenges for and the meaning of fair competition
  • lessons to learn from non-binary grass roots sports and LGBTIQ projects
This conference addressed the role of SOGIESC in sports in the light of current restrictions on human rights and in hope of a more inclusive future. The conference was a cooperation of DISCOVER FOOTBALL, Bilitis (Bulgaria), LEAP Scotland (UK) and Civil Works (Ungary) and is framed by the Erasmus+ project „Diverse Identities in Sports“ as well as the Dreilinden foundation. The conference followed a Donor Post-conference in cooperation with the Global Philanthropy Project on November 1, 2019.   Download Programme