Football v Homophobia Scotland in Westminster

14th February 2024

Football v Homophobia Scotland in Westminster

Celebrating 15 Years of the Campaign

This February marks the 15th Football v Homophobia Month of Action. In what is also LGBT+ History month we were excited to spend the 5th of February in Westminster with change-makers across football in the UK.

Scotland’s campaign was well represented on the evening. We had an inspiring recap of recent Scottish activity from the FvH Scotland lead, Munro Stevenson. And there was attendance from members of Scotland’s first ever trans and non-binary team, Gender Goals FC, who are also nominated for this year’s FvH Scotland Award. Gender Goals FC shared this on their instagram about the event. To get a real flavour of the event please check out this brilliant article written by our friends at Sports Media LGBT+.

We were pleased to be invited to host this event at Westminster by Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston. The event was a great opportunity for us to engage with a number of other Scottish MPs who also joined to show their support. This included two Glasgow MPs, Alison Thewliss and Stuart McDonald (pictured below).

Photo by Lucy Copsey

Hannah Bardell has long shown her passion for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in sport. She movingly discussed her experience as a queer woman who plays football during a 2016 debate on homophobia in sport. And she has also displayed her support of the Football v Homophobia campaign in parliament, proudly wearing a FvH Scotland t-shirt and, just this week, donning a Gender Goals FC sticker to vote in a division. Hannah’s own journey in football began as a wee girl in West Lothian and she has previously played with the Glasgow club Camp Hellcats FC, who were a 2023 Football v Homophobia Grassroots Club Award nominee.

At Westminster we heard from people across the game about how there’s still more work to be done. With data showing that homophobia is on the rise and given the hostility surrounding LGBTQIA+ people in the media - especially our trans and non-binary siblings - support and activations are needed more now than ever. Every single person involved in football has a responsibility to tackle hate. LGBTQIA+ people have always been part of football. Women, people of colour, trans and non-binary people, bi and pan people. They all have a part in football and it is the responsibility of all of us to make that a reality.

We hope that during this 15th Football v Homophobia Month of Action you will take action against hate, share the message of being anti-LGBTIQ and engage with the Football v Homophobia activations in your local club.

FvH Scotland has a lot to celebrate this Month of Action and it was really special to join our partners, Football v Homophobia and FvH Cymru, to hear about activities taking place throughout the UK - from Inverness to Cornwall! All month Scottish clubs will be showing their support for the LGBTQIA+ community by dedicating matches to FvH Scotland. Sunday the 11th of February was the Scottish Women’s Football Day of Action, with games across the country shouting about the campaign. In the men’s game we are seeing action from clubs and supporters, including activations involving Ibrox Pride and Jags for Good. You can see a full list of the 2024 FvH champions here.

But, alongside these celebrations is a call to action. It is the vision of Football v Homophobia that no homophobic incident goes unreported. Information on reporting mechanisms should be readily available if someone observes or is targeted by homophobia. As we work with clubs all over Scotland, we encourage engagement directly with spectators and fans to ensure this process works and is utilised.

To keep up to date with Football v Homophobia Scotland activities please join us on Instagram @FvHScot

Written on 14th February 2024.