Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Ashland Johnson on the Struggles that LGBTQ+ Athletes Face

Share This Resource

A former Division I basketball athlete, attorney and equity and inclusion strategist, Ashland Johnson’s experiences all combined to found The Inclusion Playbook. The Inclusion Playbook is a sports impact project led with the goal of “empowering social change agents to transform communities in and through sports.” In 2016, Ashland was named as one of the 40 best LGBTQ+ lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. Ashland has also worked in numerous professional sports leagues such as the NBA and the NFL to strengthen their policies and programs surrounding inclusion, race, gender, and law.

In this video, Johnson highlights three major issues for LGBTQ+ athletes: outness, safety and participation. She goes on to discuss the youth participation rates for sports, specifically highlighting how low the participation rate is for trans boys and trans girls. Johnson concludes by stating that sports are so beneficial for everyone and that there is more work that needs to be done in order to make sports a more welcoming place for LGBTQ+ athletes.