In one week Aussie pro player Joshua Cavallo faced homophobic abuse during a game and had to call it out; the tedious and hurtful ‘Rent Boy’ chant was clearly audible during a televised FA Cup 3rd Round match; and comment on that prompted the CPS to re-state clearly that homophobia meets the definition of a hate-crime, and that they would prosecute if need be.
We would rather enlighten and educate than see fellow-fans barred from matches, but remain interested to see if this is a sign of new action and a potential tipping-point… or just another new-year resolution which is still a ‘wish’ next Christmas.
Leeds Utd have posted a LUTV film of their work with the community. This prominently features our Rainbow Laces campaign as well as our board member Mark in a visit to a primary school with Luke Ayling, alongside content with Tyler Roberts & LUFC Women’s Bridie Hannon, as well as the Foundation, Trust and Fans’ Foodbank.
We are really proud to be in such excellent company, and proud of the contibution we have made to the club’s genuine and active commitment to inclusion for all. We will continue this work throughout the year to come.
As we approached the turn of the year from 2021 to 2022 we asked each of our team to reflect on the year just gone and look ahead.
Our ‘Rainbow Laces’ game this year was the win against Crystal Palace in the first week of December, but the activity goes on for much more than just that one showpiece.
Click the button below to see all that we achieved, and also the fabulous support we enjoy from the club and players across all squads.
Last night was our Rainbow Laces game. The club have actively supported the campaign again this year - with players discussing LGBT+ inclusion on podcasts and addressing schools, they have been photographed holding rainbow flags and they wore special pre-match shirts.
The board and coaching staff all wore Marching Out Together badges, and there was active promotion of Rainbow Laces on the club’s social media site - which went well beyond any requirements from the Premier League.
The powerful support offered by the club to Marching Out Together’s work lasts throughout the year; with the culture of support led from Angus Kinnear, our CEO, and supported by his senior management team.
The work we do with the club receives the support from the overwhelming majority of Leeds fans, who welcome inclusion and support for the LGBT+ community.
However, work still needs to be done, and unacceptable chanting can still occasionally be heard. The ‘rent boy’ chant last night is one example of that. It is unarguably homophobic and unacceptable at all times. We wrote a piece condemning the use of the rent boy chant and explaining why it is homophobic last year.
It was certainly regrettable to hear last night - but the club’s ongoing powerful message of support for equality resonated much stronger on a night where we could celebrate that things are changing for the better in the game of football, when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion.
Ahead of our games with Spurs and Brighton we have today issued a joint statement together with LUST, LUDO and LUSC calling for fans to give their always outstanding support without anti-Semitic or homophobic chants or gestures.
This type of hurtful and abusive behaviour is never acceptable and we can always back the team with much more positive language.
As football fans we are all thrilled to see England qualify comfortably for the World Cup finals in Qatar next summer, and hope to see Scotland and Wales there too.
There are significant issues with the tournament taking place in a country where LGBTQ+ people face severe discrimination and even legal sanction. We hope that the FA and England will use their platform to challenge discrimination and support the LGBTQ+ community everywhere, and we support the Kick It Out campaign.
On 7 November before the Leicester City home game we held our AGM, and were pleased to have some members attend and others by Zoom. We re-elected some of our officers and gave an update on the past year and plans for the year to come: click below for the Chair’s report.
In the September edition of ‘Shine’ magazine, board member Mick Ward gives a fasciinating and wide-ranging picture over many years of the city of Leeds, Leeds United, being an LGBT+ fan, and the work of Marching Out Together. Download a copy from the Shine website.
The first few weeks of the season have seen a number of stories about homophobic abuse at matches – timely then, that Leeds United invited us to deliver LGBTQ+ training for the match day stewards for the first time. Even more so when after the Burnley away match a member reported an incident which led to the club arranging a meeting at Elland Road with the fan involved.
This is another very real example of the club actively working with MOT to continue to make Leeds United, and in particular Elland Road, inclusive for all.
Leeds United are back for another Premier League season! Before looking ahead to that, here’s a reminder about just how far we came last season… on the field and for Marching Out Together…
As the new season gets under way we are saddened again to see that homophobic chanting has raised its ugly head once more. The clubs involved, LGBT+ fans’ groups and other football bodies including ‘Kick It out’ all condemned it; and we sent our support and backing. Click below to see why it is never “just banter”.
How much do you know about the background and meaning of “Pride” month? This festival of LGBT+ presence and achievement has a long history… and is still very much needed today - in our society and our game.
A piece written by us appeared on the official LUFC website in June, and you can see ther full version here…
We sit in the West Stand where we are surrounded by the most wonderful group of fellow season ticket holders who we have got to know over the years. They all know we are gay and are supportive. Off the pitch things have not felt so positive in many years - we have a responsible owner with great vision. And, in the future, we hope that as the club improve on so many fronts, progress will also be made on making Elland Road and following Leeds away a more welcoming experience for LGBT+ fans. I look forward to playing my role in Marching Out Together and am proud to be one of our LGBT+ representatives on the Supporters Advisory Board.