People think I can’t like soccer because I’m gay | Soccer

Peter Knight Titans

Welcome to professional football, where clubs are anchored to a 1950s age-versus-the-wall idea of ​​homosexuality (Image: Peter Knight)

There’s that look again.

Usually, when I start talking about football with someone I’ve met at a party, their eyes narrow and their lips purse.

They know I’m gay – I seem to wear it like a see-through pashmina, all excited hand gestures and lisping lust. But gay and like soccer? No, this is not possible.

They look suspicious like you’re wearing them; the look an adult gives a child magician presenting a deck of cards. They’re trying to figure out the trick, preparing for the punch line.

Or worse, they think I’m trying to be straight for their benefit and widen their eyes in embarrassment.

The tension only lets up when I offer my twopence, something only a true fan would appreciate: “Man City had the tougher run-in but even after they did it at home against Liverpool they still have it managed to win the title.”

Your face will light up in recognition and everyone can relax!

But being gay and liking soccer isn’t as niche as you might think.

I’ve only played on a team full of them since I joined the London Titans, a gay-friendly football club, in the summer of 2008. It’s not exclusively gay, some straight players seem to enjoy it too, but they do have an ear for the dressing rooms and the “bitch, please…” banter leaves no doubt.

Nothing like that, by the way the happens in the showers, more is a shame.


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But why not play for a regular or “regular” team? Well the social side was a big draw, where else could I meet like minded gay people? After moving to the capital last summer of 2007, I wanted to make friends and, to be honest, meet someone special – I wouldn’t get that with Dog & Duck Rovers.

It was the first time I’ve played soccer seriously since after school kickabouts. Although no one in my family showed any interest in the sport, I had played with friends in the park night after night until we could barely see the ball. My love for soccer went long before puberty, hormones and gayness to come.

The two are quite separate. Why would an attraction to men prevent a shot on goal? Does it make you less aggressive in duels? Not by my list of injuries it doesn’t. So it never occurred to me that one love undermines the other, but it’s a feeling not shared everywhere.

The club plays in both a gay-friendly league and a “normal” league. Ninety percent of the games are respectful and without incident. A few times per season there will be fags courtesy of a hothead or two.

In a bar, such abuse would pierce me, but in the heat and exhaustion of a game, words bounce off me like a ball.

So what’s the problem? Why are gay-friendly teams needed?

It’s less of a need and more of a want. Socializing is a big part of Sunday football, so you want to be with people who understand you, who make you feel free and comfortable with them.

The Southgate team takes a knee to tackle racism. Could you do a similar protest in support of LGBT fans?

But of course I play for fun. Football is not my job. If I worked in an office that had an ugly, outdated culture of LGBT, I would find the secrets, the fear, and the lies crippling.

Welcome to professional football, where clubs are firmly anchored in the homosexual idea of ​​the 1950s. Or is it the fans? Is the screaming mob the reason it’s taken 30 years for a British player to feel comfortable speaking out about their sexuality?

Or is this some wild slur against British fandom? The reception Jake Daniels will get from Blackpool in August will tell us. Right now the truth is we don’t know.

The taboo will definitely be lifted. So a World Cup being hosted by a Middle Eastern petro-state that outlaws homosexuality on pain of three years in prison feels even more perverted.

But Qatar could do us gays a service.

England manager Gareth Southgate has lamented LGBT supporters may not travel. And is it any wonder when a Qatari security chief says the rainbow flags are being removed from fans ‘for their own protection’?

The Southgate team takes a knee to tackle racism. Could they do a similar protest in support of LGBT fans, not least the locals, who could never dream of playing on a gay-friendly soccer team?

I really hope so, if only to force the issue. What a joyful sight it would be to see Roy Keane’s scathing assessment of the treatment of gay people in the host country, or Ian Wright bursting with pride and affection for the English LGBT supporters who made the journey.

Hearing this three-letter word — the word that starts with g and ends in y that some men find so difficult to pronounce — during a game on prime-time TV would be uplifting.

Millions of schoolchildren across the country would suddenly have their heroes endorsing a word that had hitherto meant “stupid”: a stick with which to hit the effeminate child in class.

Then maybe later in life they wouldn’t look so distraught when a homosexual contender debated City’s title.

Do you have a story you would like to share? Contact us by email at jess.austin@metro.co.uk.

Share your views in the comments below.

MORE: Jake Daniels made history — but he deserves to be known for more than his sexuality

MORE: Heartstopper fans inspired to come out to their own families thanks to show’s authentic LGBTQ+ storytelling: ‘It helped me accept myself.’

MORE: “We fight for our culture”: Gay couple goes to the front together


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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/09/people-assume-i-cant-like-football-because-im-gay-16558478/ People think I can't like soccer because I'm gay | Soccer

Nate Jones

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