An Arsenal LGBT supporters' group took part in the London Pride Parade in central London on Saturday.
Representatives of The Gay Gooners, who have grown to over 50 members since launching earlier this year, joined the parade at the weekend to march along with more than 150 other groups to highlight the Club’s ongoing commitment to equality and diversity.
The Gay Gooners carried a speciall-made banner in the opening section of the parade, which started in Baker Street, before heading down Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square, ahead of its conclusion in Whitehall.
Prior to their participation, the group received a message of support from celebrity Arsenal fan Matt Lucas, who tweeted about their participation to his legion of followers, while the Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, also sent a message highlighting his “strongest support to all those supporting Football for All” and praising the “excellent example set by Arsenal FC”.
Through the ‘Arsenal for Everyone’ initiative, Arsenal Football Club supports the Football v Homophobia campaign which is committed to making football a safe and inclusive environment for all its fans. To commemorate LGBT History Month earlier this year, the Club arranged a number of different community activities and invited representatives from LGBT organisations including Football v Homophobia, The Justin Campaign, Stonewall and Kick It Out to attend a match.
The Club also hosted a special schools event in tandem with Camden and Islington LGBT Forum to discuss tackling homophobia through football and is proud to be the first Premier League football club to support London’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2018, which aims to build on the positive legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Stewart Selby, coordinator of the Gay Gooners, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to represent Arsenal’s LGBT supporter base at Pride and the reception we got from spectators on the day was overwhelmingly positive. We are very much looking forward to developing our work further over the forthcoming season and beyond to help highlight the Club’s ongoing efforts to promote equality and diversity in the game.”
To find out more about the Gay Gooners supporters’ group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.gaygooners.moonfruit.com