Celebrating Diversity: The Impact of LGBT+ History Month in Esports

Emzii CEC 2022 on Stage

Celebrating Diversity: The Impact of LGBT+ History Month in Esports

Mimi Craig
8 min read | 16 Feb 2024

February marks the annual celebration of LGBT+ History Month. This month we recognise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, as well as the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. While this extends across various fields, it is crucial to acknowledge its significance in such a diverse and inclusive industry like esports. In this article, we delve into the stories of LGBTQIA+ players and personalities, pay homage to figures who paved the way and explore key milestones within the esports community.

Glossary of LGBTQIA+ Terms

Those who may be reading content this month, will come across a range of acronyms used by the community. Ranging from LGBT+ to LGBTQIA+ and everything in between. Over time, language and terminology may change, so making sure to try and stay up to date with this is important. For this article we are using LGBTQIA+, however the range of identities and terminology go much further than that. You can visit Emerson College’s Glossary of LGBTQIA+ Terms here to learn more.

LBTQIA+ Terminology Graphic

LGBTQIA+ in Esports

Esports has witnessed a surge in diverse talents, LGBTQIA+ players and personalities have played a crucial role in shaping it. Notable figures like Bella “Crimson” Selwood, a Rocket League player who has been active since 2018. Bella has demonstrated exceptional skill and resilience in the competitive gaming scene. Bella’s achievements serve as a testament to the inclusivity and talent within the esports community. Watch their video for International Transgender Day of Visibility here, alternatively watch her panel at the Be The Change Summit here.

Another prominent figure, El “EKO” Wylde, an Ex Head-Coach and current FPS Caster/Observer as well as OT/IT Security Architect. Eko’s accomplishments extend beyond just esports, as they actively advocate for inclusivity and representation within the community. They also attended and spoke at the recent Be The Change Summit, you can watch the VOD here.

Crimson at Be The Change Summit

Influential Figures and Key Milestones

Acknowledging the progress made in the esports industry would be incomplete without recognising historical figures who paved the way for inclusivity. One such pioneer is Magi, the first woman and trans person to ever break the top 100 global ranking in “Super Smash Bros. Melee,”. She still actively competes in the “Melee” global scene, being an advocate for the LGBT+ community and has become a role model to others.

Other key highlights for the UK LGBTQIA+ community in esports include the establishment of Gaymers iNC. They are a non-profit group and everything they earn is reinvested in consoles, equipment and throwing inclusive events for their members. Their main goals being to promote equality, respect and inclusion for all gamers, regardless of sexual orientation.

EKO at Be The Change Summit

Educational Resources and Charities

For those looking to deepen their understanding between LGBTQIA+ history and esports, numerous educational resources and charities offer valuable insights. PinkNews is the largest LGBTQIA+ media company producing some of the most read and watched content globally. Their aim is to inform, inspire change and empower people to be themselves.

Additionally, the Trevor Project, a leading charity dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQIA+ youth, is an essential resource. By fostering a safe and inclusive space, these organisations contribute to the overall well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the esports community.

Lastly, the new inclusive LGBTQIA+ events charity Out North East, connects people and ensures the voices of everything within the diverse community are heard and celebrated. With Pride month just around the corner, in summer 2024 they will be hosting Pride in Sunderland (1st-30th June), Pride in South Tyneside (1st-31st July) and Pride in Gateshead (1st-25th August).

Pride in Sunderland, Pride in South Tyneside, Pride in Gateshead Graphic

Get Involved

As we celebrate LGBT+ History Month, let’s actively engage in discussions, share content and get involved. By supporting and amplifying the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community in esports , we contribute to a more inclusive and diverse gaming landscape. Explore their stories, learn from historical figures and use this knowledge to be an advocate for equality within the community. 

Peter Darrant, Chair of Out North East, will be joining us to film some educational content surrounding LGBTQIA+ topics, personal experiences, advice and to talk about the exciting things coming up for Pride Sunderland, Pride Gateshead and Pride South Tyneside in the upcoming months. 

We’ll also be hosting a coffee morning at the National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC), on the 8th of March for International Women’s Day! This event is a safe space for all and we’d love to see you there. You can register your interest here.

Make sure to keep an eye out on our platforms over the next few months as we celebrate LGBT+ History Month and Pride Month: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitch, Facebook, Youtube,

Lastly, join our diverse and inclusive community on the Women in Esports Discord here!

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