Pride Month 2021: A time for celebration28 June 2021

ThroughoutPrideSeason,peopleacrosstheglobecometogethertocelebratethejoyoftheLGBTIQ+communityandthegainswehavemade,whilecontinuingtoraiseawarenessofourongoingfightagainstdiscrimination.Infootballitisnodifferent.

The fight for LGBTIQ+ inclusion is a year-round priority for Fare and our partners, so we want to take the opportunity of Pride Month to reflect on the vital work being done by our partner organisations across the world.

We hope highlighting these groups will not only provide an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments, but also serve to inspire others to take up the fight for greater LGBTIQ+ inclusion.

Together with Football v Homophobia, we support groups internationally and this year we awarded grants to 13 projects across 12 countries for groups fighting discrimination through creative and impactful means.

From Brazil to Georgia via Uganda, activities have been taking place and continue to impact local society. From inclusion training for football coaches in Ukraine to podcasts elevating the voices of queer sports people in Brazil, we are proud to share the stories of the brilliant work being done across the globe.

Below is a snapshot of some of the fantastic work taking place. For more information, check out our Football v Homophobia impact report here.

In Mexico, Fare awarded grants to two groups working to tackle discrimination in two key areas: in stadiums and in the newsrooms.

The NGO Versus, which was created by the pioneering journalist Marion Reimers, launched a media guide in Spanish, advising journalists on how to responsibly and respectfully report on LGBTIQ+ stories. Versus recognised that sports reporters often lack the experience or language to cover LGBTIQ+ issues, leading to queer stories being ignored or told in a way that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. To counter this, the guide offers basic points on when and how to report on someone’s gender and sexuality and a glossary of key terms.

Versus Mexico launched the guide with a series of video clips and interviews with professional footballers, including Janelly Farias and Stephany Mayor, imploring better representation of women and LGBTIQ+ players in and by the media.

Meanwhile, DIDESEX football club focused their efforts on countering homophobic abuse in stadiums, an issue that has been widespread in Mexican football for some time. This year saw DIDESEX train observers to attend matches and monitor incidents of discrimination, while simultaneously launch an online reporting tool. Thanks to the club’s commitment to promoting the reporting systems, this will prove an invaluable tool for creating effective solutions and responses to incidents of discrimination in Mexican football.

Stadium abuse was also the topic being tackled in Uganda, with the Tomorrow Women in Sport Foundation launching a campaign against homophobic chanting. The group’s vision for their campaign was born during the #FootballPeople weeks 2020, when they realised that talented LGBTIQ+ footballers – from the grassroots to the National Team – had stopped playing football due to discrimination. Workshops for footballing stakeholders were accompanied by an effective social media campaign to address LGBTIQ-phobia among coaches, fans, teammates and administrators.

In Ukraine, the Klitshko Foundation also ran workshops in order to educate teachers and coaches to understand, recognise and combat homophobia, transphobia and discrimination through sport and football. The “Football for Everyone” campaign saw LGBTIQ+ leaders run sessions where participants were able to take part in open Q+A sessions, with honest and thought-provoking conversations challenging stereotypes and unpacking common misconceptions.

The aim of the training sessions was to equip coaches to run similar sessions themselves, implementing the knowledge they had learnt to pass on to their students and players. This train-the-trainer technique is a vital means to create sustainable and long-lasting change for future generations of players and so far over 400 players in Ukraine have benefited from these sessions.

Later this year, we are looking forward to seeing Activ’Elles04 in France run workshops for young people on discrimination. The students will consolidate their learnings by designing a board game that challenges stereotypes. The game will be reproduced and placed in community centres.

In Brazil, meanwhile, two groups came together to create a series of podcasts Ludopedio and Revista Gambiarra – Jornalismo, Cultura e Ativismo used the four-episode series to explore different themes, including LGBTIQ+ fan movements, women’s fight against machismo, misogyny and lesbophobia, trans inclusion, and the value of inclusive amateur football clubs. Listen here to Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3 or Episode 4.

Pride Month, IDAHOTB, LGBT+ history month: these are all undoubtedly important moments in the calendar, but these groups – and many others like them – serve as an inspiration to us all year round. We are confident and committed that football will remain as leaders in the fight for LGBTIQ+ equality.

Read the full report on Football v Homophobia Action Month here.