Football v Transphobia week of action amplifies largely ignored trans voices in the game

football v transphobia

This year, the second-ever Football v Transphobia week of action will take place between March 24 and March 31, ending on Transgender Day of Visibility.

Football v Transphobia was created by Pride Sports, and aims to take specific action against transphobia in the game. Pride Sports has already been running its Football v Homophobia campaign since 2014.

The world of football, and sport in general, can be an incredibly intimidating place for trans people. Anti-LGBT+ sentiment among both teams and fans is rife, but despite this trans people still dream of being involved in the game, whether as players, fans or officials.

Football v Transphobia hopes to change this culture of intolerance, and encourage more trans people to take part in the sport.

Lou Englefield, lesbian activist and director of Pride Sports, told The Football Association: “We rightly worry that there isn’t currently an ‘out’ gay male footballer in any of the 92 professional clubs across the English leagues.

“But did you know that 50 per cent of young trans people in sport aged 16-25 do not feel they can be open about their gender identity in a sports club?

“That’s half of all young trans people hiding who they are, just to have fun, keep fit and play the sports they love.”

She added: “Did you know the FA has a policy that enables trans people to play alongside their cisgender team mates and friends?

“Yet all we seem to see in the media is opinion pieces about how unfair it is for trans people to compete in sport.

“It reminds me of being a young lesbian and coming to terms with my sexuality during Section 28, a policy that prohibited local authorities from ‘promoting homosexuality’ (basically treating gay people as equal to straight people)…

“Let’s not revisit history and allow misinformation and stereotypes to get in the way of trans people being able to enjoy the beautiful game in 2020.”

This year, Football v Transphobia has launched a #BinTransphobia campaign on social media.

Pride Sports is encouraging people to post a video of themselves kicking a football into a ban with the hashtag, bonus points for tricks or a trans flag.