Pride month serves as reminder of our achievements and work that still lies ahead

Women's football has always been more than just a sport writes The Gooner Fanzine's Daisy Goodhand

Pride month serves as reminder of our achievements and work that still lies ahead

Women's football offers a vibrant community embracing diversity, offering a supportive and inclusive environment for everyone, particularly the LGBTQ+ community.

If someone had told my fourteen-year-old self, living in a small town and navigating Year 8 of secondary school, that I would one day be writing an article for The Gooner as a journalist, openly discussing my sexuality and the community I've found at Arsenal Women's Football Club, I wouldn't have believed them for a second.

Women's football has always been more than just a sport.

It is a vibrant community that embraces diversity, offering a supportive and inclusive environment for everyone, particularly the LGBTQ+ community.

This crossover between LGBTQ+ individuals and women's football fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity, which is often missing in other areas of life.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this community is the ease with which people can meet others who share similar experiences and identities.

For many, women's football matches are not just about the game but about the camaraderie and friendships that form.

This environment allows people to be themselves, celebrate their identity, and experience a sense of belonging that might be elusive elsewhere.

The visibility and openness of players in the women's football community about their relationships play a crucial role in normalising and celebrating diverse identities.

Players like Beth Mead and Viv Miedema have become role models, open about their relationship, even highlighted in documentaries produced by Arsenal themselves.

Similarly, Manuela Zinsberger openly sharing her wife's pregnancy journey on social media inspires others, including myself, to be open about things I once feared to display publicly.

This openness is a stark contrast to men's football, where discussions about sexuality are often taboo.

The culture in women's football is more accepting, allowing players to be open about who they are without fear of judgment or backlash.

It's also important to acknowledge the challenges faced by men who support women's football. They often encounter hate and ridicule for their support, highlighting the broader issues of sexism and homophobia that persist in sports.

The push for diverse representation in women's football is not just about visibility but also about creating a supportive network.

Education and outreach are key to this effort. Initiatives like the Gay Gooners, a group of LGBTQ+ Arsenal fans, exemplify how supporters can work together to make the community more inclusive.

As a journalist and fan, I am eager to collaborate with them further next season, to help those who may be uncertain about their sexuality find their place in the community.

Inclusivity must extend to everyone in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, including transgender individuals.

The community must continually strive to offer more support and inclusivity, focusing on consistent improvement.

It's not enough to celebrate milestones; we must also address ongoing challenges and ensure that everyone feels welcome and supported.

While significant progress has been made in society, with the Lionesses playing a pivotal role in changing perceptions of women in society, there is still so much work to be done for the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride month serves as a reminder of both our achievements and the work that lies ahead.

We must support those who don't yet have a supportive network and reaffirm our commitment to making everyone in the community feel welcome.

This includes not just those who are already comfortable with their sexuality but also those who are still exploring their identity.

For me, the community at Arsenal has been transformative.

Without this supportive network, my experience as a football fan would be vastly different.

The sense of belonging and mutual love for Arsenal brings us all together, regardless of our backgrounds or identities.

As we celebrate Pride month, let's not only reflect on how far we have come but also on the steps we need to take to ensure a more inclusive and supportive future for everyone.


For more from the brilliant Daisy Goodhand watch the Gooner Fanzine's weekly podcast dedicated to Arsenal Women - as Daisy and Freddie Cardy discuss the latest news 






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