LGTBQ+ Month of Action Recap
26 February 2021
For the LGTBQ+ month of action organized by FARE network and Football V Homophobia. A month in which Football V Homophobia organized different events regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion in football, such as webinars, education sessions as well as workshops. In the Action Month, initiatives from football clubs, fan groups and NGOs worldwide were highlighted. Many professional football clubs from England joined campaign and shared their commitment in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusion.
To support the LGBTQ+ Month of Action, we interviewed different role model for LGTBQ+ acceptance in football:
- Jesús Tomillero: Jesús was the first referee to declare he was gay. After making it public, he had to face insults and death treats on football fields and social media, which lead him to quit football. But he did not give up and founded his association Roja Directa LGTBI that fights daily to defend the rights of the LGTB+ community.
- Karin Blakenstein: Karin Blankenstein, is the founder and CEO of John Blankenstein Foundation, which is a Dutch foundation that fights for creating a safer and more inclusive sports environment for LGBTQ+ athletes, both elite and grassroots
- Max Bergander: Max Bergander played football on a high level in Sweden and quitted playing because he didn’t support the culture around it. Currently, he is responsible for the Core Values at AIK Fotboll, trying to break down stereotypes and educating people in values and inclusion.
- Katie Glossop: Katie Glossop is the Participation & Inclusion Manager at Sheffield United Community Foundation. Sheffield United Community Foundation works in four key areas, Education & Training, Health & Well-being, NCS, and Participation and Inclusion.
FARE v Homophobia Conference: What’s next for LGBTIQ+ rights in football?
On the 24th and 25th of February, FARE and Football v Homophobia organized a conference with many incredible speakers and topics. EU commisioner for Equality, Helena Dalli discussed the EU’s commitments on combating inequality in sport and our society. Other sessions included discussions between representatives from federations, LGBTQ+ journalists, LGBTQ+ supporters, perspectives from grassroots, and from athlethes themselves, including NFL Defensive End Ryan Russell, Anita Asante, defender for Aston Villa and former England international and Show Racism the Red Card UK ambassador and UEFA footballer of the year and Chelsea forward and Denmark captain, Pernille Harder. A special focus for the conference was the marginalized position of trans people in the binary structures of sport.