It’s estimated that around six per cent of the population are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans; in football terms that’s more than 2,000 LGBTQI+ fans at an average Premier League game or 5,000 at Wembley.
And yet more needs to be done to curb the homophobic abuse regularly heard in English and Welsh Football stadia, or to make LGBTQI+ supporters feel welcome across the game.
Brentford Football Club is striving to become the most inclusive club in the country; this will mean working to include all communities equally, in our stadium, across our staff and at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. Non-Executive Director Monique Choudhuri spoke in depth about this ambition with FIFA.com earlier this year.
The Club is proud to work closely with the LGBeeTs supporters’ group. As part of our involvement in the Football v Homophobia campaign in February, Allan Steele (B Team Technical Lead and Assistant Coach), Molly O'Reilly (Brentford Women’s FC) and Kate Graham (LGBeeTs) sat down to discuss some key issues facing the football community.
We are community partners with London Titans FC, one of the only LGBTQI+ friendly teams in London, who play in the Gay Football Supporters Network league.
This season Brentford will be teaming up with London members of 'Out and About' LGBTQI+ to arrange a visit the stadium on a matchday. Out and About LGBTQ is a new group that connects the LGBTQIA community through shared experiences. One of the key focus areas for them is inclusive sport and people coming together to enjoy sport and socialising but also sending out positive messages about including gay women. Members of the group will inform the Club on what a matchday experience looks like for LGBTQIA women and those who are non-binary. Out and About LGBTQ have already worked with a major pub company during Euro 2020 to develop an initiative to ensure their venues are safe and supportive spaces for LGBTQIA women and those who are non-binary.
Co-Founder of Out and About LGBTQ, Polly Shute, who is also a Brentford fan, said: “It’s really exciting to be able to work with Brentford on this project. Their ambition to be the country’s most inclusive club can only come to fruition if they engage directly with all local communities, making sure all are welcome. We think this project gives Brentford the chance to be a winner both on and off the pitch.”
For more information on the Club’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion, please click here.