Research from Stonewall shows that 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ people are not ‘out’ to their teams.
Speaking from experience, our Business Support Manager, Greg McLean, explains: “When I was going through my journey to coming out, the thought of sharing that I was gay filled me with dread, embarrassment and shame. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, worried that I may say something that may give my sexuality away; always thinking before I spoke, in case I said something. It was absolutely draining. I know that so many members of the LGBTQ+ community are going through the same right now, every day. We need to get to a position where LGBTQ+ people are comfortable in their environment to be their true authentic selves.”
How can players play their best game if we don’t create an environment in which they can thrive?
It is up to each organisation to take this into their own hands and look at ways in which they can support those who may even be getting unintentionally sidelined or unconsciously discriminated against. YOU CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE.
Firstly, you can take a step back and look at your club, league or organisation, and see what policies and procedures you have in place to deal with homophobic bullying.
Being visible really does matter; showing leadership and supporting campaigns such as Rainbow Laces shows the LGBTQ+ community that you are an ally and a supporter of them. Having this visibility could make a huge difference to any members of your organisation who are going through a silent struggle.
UCL write a very powerful piece that highlights 7 ways you can be an LGBTQ+ ally, one of these explains: “To be an effective ally you need to be willing to be consistent in your support of LGBTQ+ rights and defend LGBTQ+ people against discrimination. Anti-LGBTQ+ comments and jokes are harmful. It takes all members of society to make true acceptance and respect happen and your open and consistent support will hopefully lead as an example to others.”
Read more here
If you see or hear discrimination, report it to us via Discipline@CheshireFA.com
You can also report it to Kick it Out
You can direct people who may be struggling to various places for additional support, advice or guidance. Please click on the logos below to visit these organisation's websites:
Young Minds Text Line: Text YM to 85258
Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
Telephone: 0345 3 30 30 30
Telephone: 01270 653150
Main Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hear our Business Support Manager, Greg McLean, explain his journey to the BBC LGBT Sport Podcast here