Guide to Diversity - Sexual Orientation

It is important to note that people are not only defined by categories such as these but are complex individuals with multiple layers of identity.

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) - Definition

When engaging individuals with diverse sexual orientation and identity, it is correct to use the collective term LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex).

Not all people who are not heterosexual or cisgender will identify under/within the LGBTI acronym.

  • Lesbian: A female whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards other females.
  • Gay: A person whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards people of the same sex. The term is most commonly applied to males, although some females use this term.
  • Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, sexually attracted persons of the same and opposite sex.
  • Transgender: Transgender (sometimes shortened to "trans") is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of gender identities that differ from the perceived norms aligned to biological sex. Transgender is a term that may be used to describe someone whose gender identity does not match their birth gender, someone who identifies as both genders, neither gender or a third gender.
  • Intersex: Intersex people are born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male, or a combination of female and male.
  • Cis or Cisgender: A term used to describe when a person's gender identity matches social expectations for their sex assigned at birth; the opposite of transgender. It is unclear how this term relates to people with intersex variations, if at all.

LGBTI - Fast Facts

  • The LGBTI population is estimated between 10% and 20% of the Australian population.
  • According to the ACT Inclusive Sport Survey 2014 - Nearly 40% of its respondents had not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to teammates or club administrators.
  • According to the Out on the Fields Survey 2014 - Nearly 50 percent of LGBTI sportspersons in Australia had been a direct target of homophobic vilification, threats, bullying, violence or exclusion.

LGBTI - A Sport for All Tips for Better Engagement>

Have zero tolerance to homophobia in all its forms, e.g.

    • Thinking you can "spot one".
    • Using words like "poof", "dyke", "fag", "gay", "lezzo" as an insult, regardless of the intent or meaning.
    • Thinking that a same-sex attracted friend is trying to "pick you up", if they are friendly towards you.
    • Making unnecessary or rude comments about, or feeling repulsed by public displays of affection between same-sex partners - not possible to detect. Stick to outward notions that can be disciplined.
    • Assuming that everyone you meet is heterosexual.
    • Not confronting a homophobic remark for fear of being labelled as gay.
  • Raise awareness - address "coming out" at welcome / induction events, club training and in club communications. Conduct discussion groups, or engage an external expert. Contact Cricket Australia's Senior Manager Community Engagement for details of an appropriate expert.
  • Referencing Cricket Australia's inclusion policy that will be available in 2015.
  • Develop an inclusion policy, emphasising equality regardless of sexual orientation and encourage club leaders to take action on sexuality discrimination.
  • Establish a confidential complaint procedure (see Creating MPIO in Section 3.2.2).
  • Challenge derogatory or demeaning statements, pointing out the harm that these cause (e.g. comments like "That's so gay" or anti-gay jokes). Words that don't mean much to some people, can deeply hurt and offend others.
  • Don't expect change to happen overnight - be patient with and show respect to those with different views.
  • Being an educator to others - not only respecting different views but helping to educate others on these issues, i.e. WHY gay slang is inappropriate, and causes offence, NOT JUST accepting that some people are going to say it/hold that view - being an agent for change.

ASC resource:


Anti-Homophobia & Inclusion Framework for Australian Sport

Cricket Australia (CA) is a signatory of the Anti-Homophobia & Inclusion Framework for Australian Sport, led by the organisers of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (Gay Rugby Tournament):

Referencing Cricket Australia's inclusion policy that will be available in 2015, each cricket association, club and alternate delivery channel can determine the form of their own inclusion policy. For example, it may be part of a broader diversity and inclusion policy or may be a standalone policy. The Anti-Homophobia & Inclusion Framework helps guide the development of the policies and the matters that are addressed by them.

Materials for display throughout facilities and distribution to participants will accompany the CA policy.

The Anti-Homophobia & Inclusion Framework does not deal with discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or intersex status. While many of the issues surrounding discrimination on these grounds may be similar on occasions to those concerning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there are important differences as well. In particular, gender diverse people may face questions about recognition of their gender identity and intersex people may face questions about recognition of their legal sex.



Alex was first selected to play for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' One Day International team in the 2002-2003 season and made her Test cricket debut shortly after. Alex captained Australia in 2010 and is the Australian women's team's current Vice-Captain. Alex Blackwell has played cricket for NSW since 2001, and has also played in New Zealand's State League and County cricket in England.

"I don't feel my sexuality has impacted my sporting career or my love for cricket. It's the other way around. The focus I had for my sporting and academic life created a distraction for me. From an early age I became aware of the public perception that there are a lot of lesbians in sport and that for some reason this was not a good thing. I was not comfortable feeding this public perception as a young athlete and as a result my own sexual identity and expression was stunted for a while."

"There have been times I have been hurt by words or behaviours. Overall I feel a great deal of support regarding my sexuality from my teammates and the people I work closely with, within cricket. What is most hurtful is the casual homophobia that I witness at times. Small comments that are intended to be funny can be received as homophobic."

"I came across the Athlete Ally [not-for-profit organization to end homophobia and transphobia in sports and educate athletic communities to stand up against anti-LGBT discrimination.] at a time when I had recently experienced homophobia at a cricket event. This particular incident totally crushed me. A very small off-hand comment I witnessed at this event made me feel worthless and made me question if my sport actually wanted someone like me in it. This incident highlighted to me the undercurrent of homophobia that exists in sport and the detrimental impact this has on individuals."

"Sports should adopt an all-encompassing inclusion policy that encourages their athletes, staff and supporters to treat all people with respect and dignity. I think now is the right time to expand current policies to include sexuality and gender, not just racial and religious differences. Players and administrators within sports should receive education around sexuality and hear some personal experiences that may help highlight the need for inclusion."


Steven is an English cricketer; a wicket-keeper-batsman who currently plays for Surrey. He is a left-handed batsman who opens the batting in both first-class and limited-overs cricket. In 2011, he became the first international cricketer to state publicly that he is gay. He had come out to his family five years earlier.

"I'd tell any young guy who knows they are gay and is considering a career in professional sport that times are changing and things are getting a lot easier. First and foremost you have got to come out at the right time for you. You shouldn't be forced to do it. If you are happy to, then express yourself and tell people. The support I got was overwhelming. I have honestly had no problems."

"I don't know why sport is different to the rest of society. I guess it's a macho all-male environment. Dressing room culture tends to be full of banter and mickey-taking. That makes it difficult for people, especially young people, who want to fit in."

Also in Guide to Diversity: