News Sexuality

Football Pride : An online celebration of queer football culture

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On Saturday June 25th 2020, The LGBTQ+ community are coming together to unite with the world of football to celebrate the very first Football Pride.

Sadly due to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, the event will all be taking place online. Although that just means you can be in more places at once, with enough options to last over 30 hours!

Kicking off the event at 12pm, there will be a whole day of different activities, educational debates and fun for all the family on offer across multiple streaming platforms.

When Proudly met Football Pride (virtually)

Proudly were lucky enough to speak with the creators of this online festival of football who are volunteers from the FootballVHomophobia team. The small team of volunteers worked alongside other key partners and volunteers from the game who all wanted to be apart of this monumental occasion. They have all worked tirelessly to make Football Pride into a reality. Thankfully it is now official and on Saturday 25th June they will have successfully brought you the very first Football Pride.

The creators told Proudly that the idea of Football Pride came to them during the beginning of lockdown, in early April. This is because at that time it was likely that there may be no sport and no Pride for a long time. So this is why the team wanted to create Football Pride to create an event that would bring the community together, celebrate LGBTQ+ identity in football, and take the opportunity to help the sport get better at including the community.

The aim of this festival is for the LGBTQ+ communities and all the allies who support us to have a safe place where they can openly discuss their sexuality and love for the sport without the fear of being victimised or abused. Do not worry if football isn’t your thing too, they have you covered.

If you were curious about what to expect during this fun-filled queer day of football, we are here to help. Proudly will tell you all about what’s planned for the day, how you can watch it, how it began and what it means to the community.

Football Pride logo
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What can everybody expect from Football Pride?

With over 30 hours of planned activities including a divas vs girl bans DJ set by Richie Anderson recorded from the famous Birmingham gay nightclub The Nightingale by ProudBaggies, children can create their own custom football kit, Charlton Invicta are hosting a European football quiz and Goal Diggers FC are putting on a very special ‘Murder on the Zidane’s floor’ event.

There will be something for everybody. This is what Football Pride had to say about what’s in store for everybody tuning into this weekends event:

Football Pride is an online celebration of queer football culture. We’ve got films, talks, round table discussions & panels, coaching sessions & clinics, gaming, DJ sets, a bit of history, a whole virtual stage for family friendly events, and even a version of Eurovision for football songs!

Football Pride tell us Proudly what to expect from this years event.

With over four virtual stages of entertainment you will be spoiled for choice.

Kicking off on the FootballVHomophobia stage will be the very first virtual football pride parade. This will give a chance for fans groups a two minute slot on a Zoom call to discuss the importance of football and send an important message to the viewers watching about equality within football.

For all the passionate football fans, On the Pride Stage at 12pm you will be able to take part in a European Football Quiz jointly held by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation and Charlton Invicta FC.

On the Fare stage that begins at 2pm you will be able to watch a very insightful discussion. On the topic of sexuality within sport. They will delve deep into what can happen if athletes fail to match the idealised versions of femininity and masculinity.

Lastly, kicking off the family stage will be the Deeside Rangers Kit Parade. This is where children aged 8-16 (with consent from parent/carer) can take part in the Pride Kid Parade. Viewers will be able to see these incredible kits designed by the children (accompanied with a parent) which they made from a rainbow kit template. Expect to experience a very colourful and rainbow parade.

Where can you tune into watch Football Pride?

As it is all virtual the whole event will be entirely delivered online. There will be a variety of platforms available for viewers to tune in anytime – some of the events take place on Twitch, some on YouTube, Zoom, Facebook and other social media platforms.

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How Football Pride became a reality

When the date was decided for Football Pride in April the creators had no idea whether the football calendar would have started again by then or not.

The concept was first brought forward during lockdown because the team feared LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be affected by social isolation, so by having a space where people could make up for some of the lost opportunities to socialise due to COVID was important. This is what the Football Pride team had to say about the importance of inclusion within the event:

We are offering such a diverse set of topics – we really wanted there to be something for everyone – something for families, for all genders, all levels of sporting prowess (there’s even stuff for people who barely like football!), as well as sessions recognising the intersection of LGBT+ identity and race, disability and so much more.

The FootballvHomophibia team on the topic of inclusion within Football Pride

Although it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the team full of volunteers to get an event of this scale ready in such a short time. This is what they had to say about the complications in making Football Pride a reality:

It has been a challenge, with the short timescale and so many moving parts, which is why we’re particularly grateful to everyone who has helped in getting us to this stage. Doing it as a virtual event has challenges, but it also has benefits because of the range of people we’re able to include, which may not have been possible with a physical location. We’re sure there will be teething troubles on the day, as this is new for most of us and there will undoubtedly be technical snags and slip-ups, but I’m personally astonished by how much goodwill there has been to run things at comparatively short notice. It is testament to the strength of the LGBTQ+ football community!

Football Pride talking about the difficulties within the creation process of the event.
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Who is partnered with Football Pride?

The main contributor for Football Pride is FootballvHomophobia who’s excellent team of volunteers made this all possible. Although there are so many different football clubs, associations, players and businesses getting involved to ply their part and contribute positive change. This is what Football pride had to say about the importance of the partners involved in this years festival:

It was critical to involve our partners to get the event off the ground. Ultimately we are a group of only four people doing this mostly in our spare time. We all work with FvH anyway, so we’ve of course been able to get excellent help from other FvH volunteers. A lot of our events are being run by partners such as FARE, LEAP Sports, Goal Diggers FC, the FA, Spurs, Man City, Liverpool, Charlton Athletic and loads more. with very little input from us, which means we’re able to co-ordinate a wide range of activities – it’s been amazing to see the football community really come together on this.

Football Pride talking about the importance of their partners.
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How important will this Football Pride be to the LGBTQ+ community in football?

Lastly Proudly discussed the importance of an event of this magnitude for the the LGBTQ+ community who love football but don’t feel accepted.

Football Pride allows people who would not normally openly discuss their sexuality in football feel safe. Our founder Aaron is a passionate football fan who sadly faced heavy homophobic abuse during his time playing football. The sad reality is homophobia is still heavy within the professional game on and off the pitch. This is why there is yet to be a Premier League player who has came out as gay. You can find out more about homophobia in football by checking out an article we wrote previously.

This is why an event like this is very important for the LGBTQ+ community in football. This is what Football Pride had to say about the importance of the Football Pride will be to the LGBTQ+ community:

We think it’s really important – when we started planning, we had no idea how long we might be in lockdown for. Many LGBT+ people really rely on their sporting clubs and activities for social interaction & for physical and mental health, and we were worried about the effect a prolonged lockdown could have on the community. We know lot of people, LGBTQ+ or otherwise, have struggled over the last three or four months and so we hope that tomorrow will be an opportunity to build connections & have some fun! We also think that, more generally, having a football specific Pride is a really important step, as it allows LGBT+ people to make their mark in football, but also for football to show that there really is an important place in the sport for us.

Football Pride on the importance of this event for the LGBTQ+ community within football.
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Overview

We would like to thank Football Pride for taking time out of their busy schedules and spoke to Proudly so close to the event.

Football Pride will take place all-day throughout Saturday 25th June, we advice everybody if you have any spare time please watch, get involved, contribute and donate.

For viewers interested in finding out more about Football Pride you can check out on FootballVHomophobia pages website by clicking here. You can also check out their social media pages:

Proudly wish Football Pride the best of luck for hopefully the first of many Football Pride events to come in the future. Everybody within the LGBTQ+ community will be supporting you every step of the way. We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work, dedication and innovation for creating an event of this magnitude in such a short space of time.

Here’s to a happy and a successful Football Pride x

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