The month-long celebration was first established in the UK in 2005 as a way to raise awareness and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people and their experiences, as well as to commemorate the significant events and milestones in the history of the LGBT+ community [To find out more about LGBT+ history month see below].
Carlisle United Football Club is committed is promoting inclusion and to confront and eliminate discrimination. In January the club made this commitment ... click HERE to read the comment ... as part of the launch of our Equality Action Plan.
Click HERE to read the Equality Action Plan.
LGBT+ fans and community groups are welcomed as our guests
As part of the initiatives this month we invited guests from the local LGBT+ community for the game versus Mansfield Town to show support for the cause.
Jane-Ann Clark, Chair of Cumbria Pride said: “At Cumbria Pride, we believe in the power of sports to bring people together and celebrate diversity. It is great to be here again during LGBT+ History Month, encouraging Carlisle United fans to come together and show their support for our community.
“We are making history each day, and it was a great moment when Brunton Park added our Football is for Everybody board in their grounds. That’s now a part of our history, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in the background as Carlisle hopefully score!”
Karyn Wood, Treasurer of Cumbria Pride said: “February is also Football v Homophobia Month of Action, so it’s great to be joining Carlisle United to help raise awareness and take a stand against discrimination in the sport.
“We are thrilled that Carlisle United has signed up to ‘Friends of Cumbria Pride’, demonstrating true commitment to creating a more equal and inclusive space, where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can enjoy the game!”
Although it is a specific month of action, we have been working hard in the community all year round encouraging the welcoming attitude at Carlisle United and promoting ‘Cumbria Pride’ and ‘Outreach Cumbria’ to our supporters and local community.
Nigel Davidson, Fan Director and EDI Officer who works hard in this area, building relations and working together with community groups said: “We have worked very hard over the past two years to ensure that Brunton Park is a safe and welcoming place for everyone and the LGBT+ community have been very much part of that work.
“We actively encourage others from the LGBT+ community to come to Carlisle United to experience the football, the atmosphere, the exciting season we are currently having and to know that they will be welcomed, they will be safe and they will be treated with respect.”
The work will continue but we are encouraged by the feedback form current LGBT+ community members, some are long-standing supporters and others are new fans who have started to come to Brunton Park on the back of the welcoming attitude of the club.
“As an LGBT+ person, being welcomed into Brunton Park to watch a match was a momentous occasion for me. It felt like a validation of my identity and a recognition of my right to be there, just like any other fan. The atmosphere was inclusive and accepting, and I was able to enjoy the game without fear of discrimination or prejudice. This experience left me with a sense of hope and optimism for the future of the sport, and for a world where everyone can feel accepted and valued for who they are.” – Elizabeth
“As a gay man who had never attended a football match before, being welcomed by Carlisle United was a truly remarkable experience. I had always been hesitant to attend a football match due to concerns about the atmosphere and potential for discrimination. At Brunton Park however, I felt a sense of belonging and acceptance from the beginning that was truly unexpected. The energy and excitement of the crowd was phenomenal, and I was able to enjoy the game alongside fans from all walks of life. It was a powerful reminder that sport has the ability to bring people together and break down barriers, and I left feeling grateful for the opportunity to experience this moment of inclusion and belonging.” – Alexander
“Ever since I was young, I've loved coming to Bruton Park on a match day. I was first drawn to come during Simmo's first stint. The atmosphere was amazing, as time went on and I began to realise who I was little comments from fans could be heard. Innocuous to many, but to some who are struggling with who they are then it was quite harmful. Although as time has gone on those comments quickly got less and less, to the point now that I haven't personally heard these at a Bruton park in years and that the stadium has become a brilliant welcoming place to those of the LGBTQ+ community. One of the biggest barriers to coming to matches for a lot of the community is their past experiences and expectations around how they would be treated. That's why it's been incredible that groups such as PINC and Cumbria Pride who have been reached out to and invited to games to show that our fan base is warm and welcoming to all and that they don't need to have fear to come to matches. In the next 12 months we can grow a group, who can offer support to the LGBTQ+ community and get them into the stadium backing Simmo's mighty blues. - Gary Wylie, CUSG LGBTQ+ Rep
“As a member of the local LGBTQ community going to a football match was not something I felt would be safe for me and my partner. However, Carlisle United’s commitment to community engagement has encouraged us to go. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much we’ve enjoyed it and we’ll definitely be coming more often.” – Sue
“Friends of Cumbria Pride”
Also, as part of the month of action the club has joined up to support the ‘Friends of Cumbria Pride’ initiative.
This project will allow people to easily identify the club as an LGBT+ friendly organisation, creating a safe space for all.
Click HERE for more on Friends of Cumbria Pride.