Celebrating Pride Month and Women in Motorsport
Born in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots in the United States and the strength of individuals like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, Pride month is a time to celebrate, honour and continue the fight for the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. It is therefore important to highlight those who carry on this fight today and who are paving the way for the younger generations.
As our platform is to promote women in motorsport, we would like to introduce you to some of the women who are proudly leading by example. To this end, Females In Motorsport had the chance to ask some questions to W Series driver Sarah Moore.
Motorsport has few openly gay drivers in the past and one of these drivers has left a lasting impression on the history of the sport: Lella Lombardi. She made history by being (and still is) the only woman to score points in Formula 1. She further marked the history by being one of the two openly gay drivers (the other Mike Beuttler) to have competed in the championship.
Sarah Moore is a gay woman who has made history in motorsport. In the 2021 W Series season, at the Styrian Grand Prix, Sarah took a brilliant second place, becoming the first openly LGBTQ+ person to stand on a podium at an F1 grand prix weekend.
Still, it is not uncommon to see a lack of openness and inclusiveness in the world of sports today. One only has to go on social media to realise this.
“As we all know, social media can be a little of a nasty place sometimes,” Sarah tells Females in Motorsport. “The only time I’ve really received any hate, was after my podium in Austria last year… Twitter, as Twitter does, went a little bit crazy.”
In recent years, social media have become a place where hate is sometimes spread all too easily. Fortunately, it doesn't always reflect reality.
“Everyone always asks about my experiences of being part of the LGBTQ+ community in motorsport, and to be honest I never really had any issues within the motorsport world,” she says.
As for the negative comments on social media, she pays no attention to them and prefers to concentrate on the things that really matter.
“I tend not to take much offence by the comments I see - I just let it go over my head,” she says. “It just doesn’t bother me too much, I got my own life to live.”
And her life is pretty full! Sarah, as well as being a talented driver, is also an ambassador for Racing Pride - an organisation created to promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity within the motorsport community.
“Matt Bishop and Richard Morris asked me back in 2019 if I would be interested in being an Ambassador,” Sarah says.
She didn’t immediately agree to the offer, but this was mainly due to the fact that she had a very busy schedule and wanted to concentrate on her racing career. In 2019, she made her debut in the first season of W Series, a huge opportunity for Sarah.
“It took me a while to give an answer,” she says. “I was busy at the time trying to concentrate on my own racing, and get my own racing back up and going again in a new car that, obviously, I never had any experience in before.”
After some consideration, she accepted the invitation to join the team.
“I had a lot of things going on at the time but, after some thoughts about it, I thought ‘why not’,” she says. “At the end of the day, I’m happy with who I am, happy in my relationship. I’ve got an amazing wife - I got married in January.
“So, I don’t have anything to worry about or to hide so why not be a part of trying to help and educate other people. That was my thought process behind that.”
Racing Pride has been doing tremendous work to promote inclusivity for LGBTQ+ people.
“More people understand more about the LGBTQ+ side of things now,” Sarah says. “I still think there’s a long way to go but I definitely think that everything is going in the right direction.”
In recent years, motorsport has seen a surge of solidarity and allyship with the community. Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and seven-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton have both shown great support for LGBTQ+ people.
“I mean, to see F1 drivers and F1 teams getting on board, not only during Pride Month but outside of that as well, and teams wanting to educate their own staff, it just goes to show that everything is heading in the right direction,” Sarah says. “Hopefully, things can keep on improving.”
Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community who needs support or someone who wants to become a better ally, Racing Pride is an organisation that can give you all the proper resources.
“If I was to give any advice to people who have doubts about their sexuality or identity, I would just say to reach out to people like those who are involved in Racing Pride because I like to think we’d give good advice,” Sarah says. “We are a community of like-minded people, who have pretty much all been through the same kind of thing.”
Sarah will be racing at the British Grand Prix at the legendary Silverstone circuit from July 1st to 3rd for the third round of the W Series 2022 season.