By Danne Diamond (they/them)
Director of Policy and Programs, Athlete Ally
2023 almost broke me. With everything going on in the world, locally and globally, it has been hard to create balance and find light.
But I am a community organizer at my core. What that means for me is that in order to get up and do diversity, equity, and inclusion work every day, I have to hold two fundamental beliefs dear: 1) everyone can play a role in making the world a more inclusive, equitable place; and 2) everyone possesses the capacity for change.
As the Director of Policy & Programs at Athlete Ally, I work every day to ensure that everyone – no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression or sex characteristics – is able to benefit from the lifesaving power of sports. Our team at Athlete Ally does this through education, research, sports policy advocacy, and athlete activism. In recent years, with an explosion of anti-LGBTQI+ legislation, much of which has directly targeted transgender, nonbinary and intersex youth, it has been an uphill battle to work towards this vision of the world.
But even amidst a terrifying year, we had some incredible moments that underscore what we have long known: that LGBTQI+ people have always been here, and we will continue to sparkle and shine no matter how dark it gets. As we wrap 2023, here is a short list of things I am incredibly proud of:
We supported hundreds of athletes and influencers to use their platforms to support trans, nonbinary and intersex youth. Over the winter break, read this op-ed from USWNT and NWSL legend Becky Sauerbrunn or this one from WNBA star Brianna Turner on why they support trans women and girls and sports and the actual challenges women and girls face that we all can work together to solve.
As we move into 2024, I encourage you to think deeply about your unique, beautiful role in making sports a more inclusive place. Don’t know where to start? Begin by making a commitment to learn. Take a course from Champions of Inclusion, join our live training on February 1st, or maybe read every article in this incredible newsletter.
We make big changes by starting small, and that means recommitting to ourselves and our communities.
Wishing you radical rest, recovery, and joy in 2024,