February is LGBT History Month, and the Football v Homophobia (FvH) Month of Action is one way for clubs, fans, players, football authorities and other supporters to celebrate the month.
Football v Homophobia (FvH) is a Pride Sports initiative that exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels of football.
Pride Sports operate all year round, with their Football v Homophobia Month of Action taking place on LGBT History Month (February 2022); an opportunity for everyone to step up their efforts in the fight against discrimination.
Discussing LGBT History month, Hampshire FA’s new Community Engagement & Inclusion Officer, Alienor Chartier, said: “At Hampshire FA, we want to ensure that everyone can have a safe and positive experience of grassroots football, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation; while more work remains to be done, this season has shown our County FA’s desire to improve the local LGBTQ+ community’s experience and engagement with grassroots football.
“Over the upcoming months, we will be delivering additional training for our coaching workforce on topics such as LBGTQ+ inclusivity, racism within grassroots football, disability awareness, tackling misogyny, and how to report discrimination within the game.
“Our first workshop will take place at the end of March 2022 to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility and will be discussing LGBTQ+ terminology, how to report and tackle homophobia and transphobia, and how best to support players in their coming-out. If these workshops are shown to have a positive impact on our coaches, we hope to replicate them across all of our workforce.”
In the past year, Hampshire FA has taken several positive steps to improve inclusion within grassroots football in Hampshire, including the following actions that support everyone’s participation in Football, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity:
Furthermore, there is even more activity planned to support the LGBTQ+ community as part of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 celebrations. Firstly, Southampton as one of the nine UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 host cities is taking part in a National Lottery funded project to uncover the hidden history of women’s football, which will particularly explore the role of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, there are plans to host a celebratory festival of football, with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community.
Discussing the upcoming festival of football, Hampshire FA Women’s and Girls Football Development Officer, Flo Lunn, said: “Hampshire FA will be using the inspiration of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 coming to Southampton to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community with a festival of football. The aim is to bring people together in a friendly, safe space and also provide social and educational opportunities.”
As part of this year’s FvH Month of Action, we’re encouraging everyone across Hampshire’s grassroots football community to consider how you can support inclusion in football.
You can visit the FvH website here to find ideas on how you and your club, league or organisation can best support the initiative.
Hampshire FA would also like to encourage any LGBT+ friendly clubs to register on Pride Sports’ LGBT+ Club Finder by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help local people, from the LGBT+ community, find your club and get involved in football; a simple step towards making sure football is inclusive and accessible for all.
Another simple demonstration of support could be educating yourself and others from your club, league or organisation on some of the language and terminology associated with the LGBTQ+ community. A useful resource for this can be found on the Stonewall website here. Using the correct language and terminology can help people from the LGBTQ+ community feel more comfortable and included. Similarly, personal pronouns are another key topic for research to help better understand and support the LGBTQ+ community (useful Stonewall article linked here).
Finally, once of the most important ways in which EVERYONE can help make football more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community is by REPORTING any form of DISCRIMINATION that you are victim to, or witness.
If you’ve been the victim of, or witnessed, discrimination at any level, you should report it so that action can be taken to improve the safety and inclusivity of football for all. There are a number of ways to do this:
1) Report the incident to The FA via online form (more information here)
2) Email Discipline@HampshireFA.com
3) If you are using a Hampshire FA facility, you can use our Anti-Discrimination Textline Service
4) Report the incident to Kick It Out via online form: https://www.kickitout.org/forms/online-reporting-form
For any further information or support in the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion, please contact:
Alienor Chartier (Community Engagement & Inclusion Officer) – Alienor.Chartier@HampshireFA.com
Khalid Idris (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Intern) – Khalid.Idris@HampshireFA.com