How has the RWP community helped Jade specifically in her life?
I cannot speak for Jade and she may have a completely different answer, but looking in I believe RWP has helped Jade grow in confidence to be her true self.
At the first RWP zoom meet-up, Jade did not say a word or turn her camera on but as time went on she grew in confidence to share her story – good and bad. It was an important moment and having Victoria Smith on the call helped hugely.
Victoria Smith is a former jockey who transitioned to a transwoman and currently works for Godolphin. I think having that shared knowledge and understanding, along with the allyship from other members, has helped Jade massively.
What does it mean for a member of the LGBT+ community to have an ally in racing?
I believe it is incredibly important for allies to stand up for minority groups so minority groups don’t have to, and it can also have a far bigger impact. I know as a woman, I sometimes get quite exhausted calling out the casual sexist behaviours that happen in everyday life!
From my LGBT+ friends and colleagues, I know it can be similar. I hope that by being a proud and visible LGBT+ ally, I can also help create a greater feeling of belonging and safety in racing too.
In my role, I have a unique opportunity to drive change in the sport. I also feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to meet and hear the stories of inspiring individuals in racing and Jade’s story was no different.
Jade is the second openly trans person I have been lucky to meet and learn from in racing, and I am sure many across the sport are not afforded that privilege.
And hence, why I feel it is so important that we are able to provide a platform to share her story through the Racing With Pride network and this Racing is Everyone’s Sport campaign to educate others in racing.
Beyond RWP and its members being a support network for Jade, and giving her a platform to share her story, Jade has inspired us to see how we can individually, and as the RWP Committee, do more to support Jade and other trans people in racing.
Earlier this year the Diversity in Racing Steering Group and RWP members had the chance to do Trans awareness training, as well as BHA employees in Trans Awareness Week.
As a priority in 2022 we plan to develop a Transitioning at Work Policy template for organisations across the industry to use and review our LGBT+ e-learning to see if we can update it to include more information about trans inclusion.