FvH Scotland believe that education is central to creating a long term culture shift away from homophobia. We encourage you to educate yourself and those in your organisation so that they are aware of the issues which may arise, are alert and responsive to homophobic abuse, and are proactive in creating an inclusive environment. A comprehensive education on this topic will give people the confidence to speak up about LGBTI equality related issues, and provide them with the skillset to respond to homophobia in the most effective way.
Although considerable progress has been made in wider Scottish society, many people view football as a space in which it is still fair game to use homophobic terms such as ‘poof’, ‘faggot’ and ‘you’re playing like a girl’. On the other hand, some people use this language as ‘banter’ without thinking that what they are saying has an impact on those around them, is homophobic, and may in fact be illegal (Equality Act 2010). Education is the key to unlocking a realisation amongst those practising homophobia.
LGBTI inclusion requires more than just the absence of homophobia. It is important to be aware of other barriers faced by LGBTI people and understand how these impact on access to and satisfaction with football. For example, stereotypes surrounding football and lesbian gay and bisexual people create a complex terrain, whilst accessibility can cause problems for trans people. Familiarising those in your organisation with these issues can make you more approachable and give you food for thought on how best to remove these barriers.
There are many important pieces of policy and legislation that impact upon LGBTI people in football. For example, The Equality Act 2010 covers the protected characteristics of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender reassignment’ and therefore there are particular considerations that your organisation may need to be aware of. Education is important for knowing where your organisation’s services sit in regard to the law and legislative framework.
There are a selection of organisations which offer training sessions, you may also find some useful material online. Whatever the method, we encourage you to choose educational routes which suit your organisation’s audience and effectively cover areas where improvement is possible. Football v Homophobia Scotland offer a range of training options which may be of interest. You can find a full list in the resource section.
LGBTI inclusion requires more than just the absence of homophobia. It is important to be aware of other barriers faced by LGBTI people and understand how these impact on access to and satisfaction with football. FvH Scotland