What you can do
Come Out For LGBT - Ian Kehoe

Ian Kehoe

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT & STONEWALL FC CLUB SECRETARY

Attitudes towards LGBT people differ from one sport to the other. They're driven by who follows the sports and the atmosphere at games – the fans vary hugely. Football is a very tribal game. When someone does come out, they will be protected by their own fans.

But they might become a target for others. I think it will be a big moment when we get one role model in sport to be openly gay – someone high profile. It will inspire others.

Fans need to call things out when they see or hear them. On the terraces, it’s completely unacceptable to say something racist now. You would socially isolate anyone who did. Homophobic language is not there yet, but I think that will change over the years.

At Stonewall FC, we have a contingent of straight guys on the team. They talk about the team and why we exist to their friends, and on a small level that helps change attitudes. 

At Stonewall FC, we have a contingent of straight guys on the team. People who’ve joined through friends or contacts. They talk about the team and why we exist to their friends, and on a small level that helps change attitudes. That’s the biggest example I can think of, of showing support – them being proud to be part of the team.

Then one person snaps and calls them out. They become a hero.​

Calling out homophobia is simple. You just say, ‘You’re a ******’. You’ll probably find that of the 20 people standing around you, 19 will agree. At games, there’s always one person who’s too drunk, who’s shouting or mouthing off, and people around them are all recoiling but no one wants to say anything.

Then one person snaps and calls them out. They become a hero.

Ian Kehoe (far right of image)