Ep 81- From Pain to Pride

Ep 81 - From Pain to Pride

Take heart, peers. Often, our most painful experiences can become the catalyst to our purpose in life. For James Lolicato, being one of the only openly gay students in PE classes was an isolating and tumultuous experience. But after gaining the courage to dive back into sports, he resolved to turn his struggle into his strength, and make sporting organisations more inclusive and safe  for LGBTI+ youth. In this episode, James boldly shares his experiences in high school, how he found the confidence to fight for LGBTI inclusion, and how we too can forge meaning from our greatest struggles. James Lolicato is the co-founder of Proud2Play and Pride Cup Australia. 

James Lolicato

As one of the only openly gay kids in high school, James Lolicato was often subjected to relentless bullying and isolation; especially during PE classes. Fearful of the attacks and abuse, James gave up on sports. But with love and compassion,  James’ brother rallied around him to get back onto the basketball courts and take back his confidence. Touched by the warmth and empathy he felt, James resolved to make a difference in the lives of LGBTI youth. 

Drawing from his own struggles in high school and armed with the statistic that 98% of trans youth felt uncomfortable playing sports, James founded Proud2Play, an organisation that aims to increase LGBTI+ engagement in sports. Inspired by a powerful gesture of mateship, James also co-founded Pride Cup, a national movement that helps sporting organisations create pride activations and increase LGBTI+ engagement. 

In this episode, James shares his experience as an openly gay student in high school, how he found the strength to keep fighting for LGBTI inclusion, and how we can forge meaning from our greatest struggles. 

Street Cred:

James Lolicato is the Director and co-founder of Pride Cup Australia, a national movement that exists to challenge LGBTI+ discrimination within sporting clubs and make them welcoming and supportive environments for LGBTI participation and fans. James is also the co-founder of Proud2Play, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to increase LGBTI+ engagement in sport, exercise and active recreation. James has been named Australian Community Leader of the Year and an OFA 30 under 30 winner. 

Highlight Reel:

James’ experience during High School P.E  [3:43]

James’ advice to those who want to start their own project [15:27]

How James overcomes rejection [20:08]

Starting Proud2Play [21:30]

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