Meggie Bielby


I am a third year PhD student in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.  I have a BSc (hons) in Psychology from Leeds Beckett University and an MA in Gender Studies from the University of Leeds. During my studies, I developed an interest in themes of gender, sexuality and sport. This led to my research exploring sexism in commentator dialogue and the marginalisation of women’s ice hockey in Canada.

Research interests

My research focuses on women’s negotiations of gender and sexuality in sport, exploring how experiences are moderated by race, gender, sexuality, and the gender appropriateness of a given sport. Through this research, I investigate the multiple compounding barriers that hinder women’s participation in sport, including the socially, historically and politically constructed binary understandings of gender and sexuality that render women ‘out of place’ in the traditionally male domain of sport. In doing so, I also explore the lesbian label that is attached to women in sport, investigating the impact of its associated stigma and the use of identity management strategies. I also stress the importance of safe queer spaces, exploring how these spaces support the sexual identity development and disclosure of queer athletes.
Through this research I aim to gain insight into sporting culture as well as increase understanding of the social and systematic barriers that impact women in sport. The knowledge gained will be used to inform change, reduce stigma and discrimination, and enhance inclusion for all athletes. This will additionally be aided by an analysis of equality, diversity and inclusion policies produced by national governing bodies, investigating what is currently being done to address the discrimination and marginalisation experienced by minorities in sport.


  • MA Gender Studies
  • BA Psychology