LGBT Twitter icon Neville Southall hits out at ‘smurfs and turfs’ who discriminate against trans women

Twitter’s most unexpected icon has done it again, this time hitting out at the “smurfs and turfs” who discriminate against trans women.

Neville Southall, a former Everton goalkeeper, came into everyone’s consciousness in the Twittersphere in October after posting a series of inspiring and hilarious tweets supporting and amplifying queer and trans people.

The former footballer’s Twitter account has over 131,000 followers meaning that his support for LGBT+ people  — particularly trans women — is massively noticed and often ruffles a few feathers.

(Photo by Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images)

Southall recently turned his attention to supporting the rights of sex workers, by giving sex work advocacy group Sex Work Hive access to his Twitter account for an evening.

This move was pretty controversial, as many people remain divided over the rights of sex workers.

Southall, in absolutely perfect form, hit back at the SWERFs (sex worker exclusionary radical feminists) and TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists).

(Photo: @NevilleSouthall /Twitter)

“This is just to annoy any smurfs or turfs or whatever they are called. Some of the best people I have met on here are trans people. They have lots of shit to put up with but show lots of dignity doing it,” he wrote.


Responding to the backlash from this blatant support of the rights of sex workers and trans people, Southall continued with his classic humour we’ve all grown to love in the last few months.

(Photo: @NevilleSouthall /Twitter)

He wrote: “Funny people say I was gay because I support LGBTs, slept with trans women, slept with sex workers.

“No wonder I retired from football, I had no time to fit it in between all other stuff.”

Whether it’s using skeletons to talk about trans issues or football to mention the lack of openly gay people in the sport, Southall has deservedly earned the title of social media legend.

The former Evertonian may have once seemed like an unlikely advocate of LGBT+ causes, but since his one-of-a-kind Twitter presence put the sporting hero’s pro-trans beliefs on the map, he has earned the kudos of the LGBT+ community and even gained a magazine column.

Related: Is queer a slur? Twitter seems to think so

This wasn’t the first time that Southall has been interrogated about his sexuality just for being an ally.

Earlier this year the Twitter icon hit back at after people began barraging him with questions about his own sexuality – simply because he is an advocate of LGBT rights.

Of course, that didn’t stop Neville reaching out in his signature fashion to talk about LGBT issues – with the help of a tiger emoji.

(Photo: @NevilleSouthall /Twitter)

“I find it funny that if I tweet something about LGBT stuff people ask me if I am gay but if I tweet about animals they never ask if I am a tiger. Why,” he wrote.

Never change, Neville, never change.

Southall was recognised for his work as an advocate for LGBT+ causes when Everton campaign group and supporters club The Rainbow Toffees have decided to make the Welsh goalkeeper the patron of their movement.

(Photo: Phil Cole /Allsport)

“I am delighted to become patron of the Rainbow Toffees as the footballing world must embrace the LBGT community and lead the way in bringing equality for everyone,” said Southall to Liverpool Echo.

“Football faces some tough challenges ahead not just at top level but at grassroots where gender and sexuality issues need clear and equal rules.

Southall is also an ardent social justice campaigner, and works closely with the likes of UNISON to improve the rights of those living in both Liverpool and Wales.