Festival Fortnight Events to Tackle LGBTI Exclusion in Football

41% of Scottish LGBTI participants say they feel attracted to, but excluded from football.

New European research has shown that almost 1/3 of Scotland’s LGBTI respondents have refrained from a certain sport because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The sport which respondents from Scotland most often refrained from was football (41%). Although football topped the board across EU countries, this was particularly high in Scotland, with the Scottish figure coming in 14% above the EU total.

There are a number of reasons why LGBTI people refrain from participating in football. To name but a few, the absence of gay, bisexual or transgender (GBT) role models in the men’s professional game can suggest that football is not a safe space to be openly GBT. There is also a widespread perception that football has higher levels of homophobia and transphobia than other sports, discouraging people from participation. Damaging stereotypes of LGBTI people exist in football and many LGBTI people have had negative experiences of football from a young age, requiring direct encouragement to give football another chance.

Through participation in Festival Fortnight, Scotland’s LGBTI sports festival, football clubs, charitable foundations and supporters’ groups are making a move to tackle exclusion. Club foundations including Kilmarnock, Rangers, Ross County and Clyde FC, are opening their doors to the LGBTI community and sending a message that there is a place for everyone in football, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTI football clubs and supporters’ groups such as HotScots FC, Saltire Thistle FC, and Proud Huddle CSC are also running events for the festival, bringing visibility to LGBTI identity in football.More information on the festival can be found at festivalfortnight.org.

HotScots Quiz Night Tues 18th / Free / 7pm – Planet Bar, Edinburgh EH1 3AF.

Scotland Vs Argentina – United Glasgow FC Screening & Panel Wed 19th / Free / 6.30pm – Committee Room No 9, Glasgow G1 1JQ.

Saltire Thistle FC Training Days 19th & 26th / Free / 7pm – Glasgow Green Football Centre, Glasgow G40 1HB

Jumpers For Goalposts 20th & 26th – Free Dalkeith Secondary School Fortrose Academy

Friday Night Football – Hotscots Taster Fri 21st / Free / 8pm – Saughton Sports Centre, Edinburgh EH11 3HB

Out On Sundays: Out In Football Fri 21st / Free / 6.30pm – Mackintosh Queen’s Cross Church, Glasgow G20 7EL

LGBTI Inclusive Mental Health Football Tournament Sat 22nd / Free / 10am Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow G68 9NE

Ladies Recreational 5-A-Side Football Tournament Sat 22nd / Free / 12pm Glasgow Green Football Centre, Glasgow G40 1HB

Just Charlie Film Screening Mon 24th / Free / 6pm Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries DG2 7BE

HotScots Bingo Thurs 27th / Free / 7pm Planet Bar, Edinburgh EH1 3AF

LGBTI Inclusive Walking Football Fri 28th / Free / 12pm Rugby Park Stadium, Kilmarnock KA1 2DP

Proud Huddle Pub Quiz Fri 28th / Free / 7pm Venue Tbc (Glasgow)

Rangers Football Festival Sat 29th / Free / 9.30am Ibrox Community Complex, Glasgow G51 2XP

Ross County LGBTI Community Open Day Sat 29th / Free / 10am Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall, IV15 9QZ

Full research findings can be found at www.out-sport.eu/research

Written on 22nd May 2019.