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Let's Make Soccer Welcoming of LGBTQ+ People

Think About The Language You Use

Some language used to target opposition players or make fun of team mates can affect the mental health of LGBTQ+ people and make them feel put down.

Saying someone is 'gay', queer', (or any other anti-LGBTQ+ term) just because they do something wrong on a soccer pitch or are having a bad game is offensive and disrespectful to LGBTQ+ people, even if it doesn't target them individually.

Using gender as a way to abuse people is also wrong. Saying boys are 'playing like girls' not only offends girls, but can also make LGBTQ+ people feel uncomfortable too. Calling women and girls who are involved in soccer 'lesbians' or 'boys' as a term of abuse is stereotyping and offensive. 

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Why It's Not OK To Say "That's So Gay!"

You should not call people names if they are not good at soccer because this can put them off taking part in soccer and other sports for life. We all need to do some physical activity every week to stay fit and healthy.

The word 'gay' is used by some people to mean bad or not good, but this can hurt gay people and children who may have gay people in their families.

You should never call someone gay because they aren't as good at soccer as you, because they make a bad pass, miss a shot or don't save a goal.

ALWAYS encourage your team mates of they are having a bad game. Putting people down and calling names NEVER made anyone play better at soccer.

In matches, remember to RESPECT the other team, and if they don't show you respect tell the referee and let them deal with it.

What Can You Do To Challenge Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ People

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Using discriminatory language against LGBTQ+ people, their family and friends is unacceptable. It's offensive, puts people down and can affect their self confidence.

If you feel safe, always challenge language or behavior that puts LGBTQ+ people down. IF you don't feel safe to challenge, tell a coach or other staff member. Remember saying nothing only allows prejudice and discrimination to get worse.

Just because you can't always tell if someone is LGBTQ+, it doesn't mean that LGBTQ+ people don't exist in soccer.

Don't follow others for laughs. Be your own person. Anti-LGBTQ+ language and jokes are not just banter. They put people down, affect their self esteem and can make them feel isolated.

Speak out about wanting everyone to feel welcome in the game. You can have a massive impact on the wellbeing of other players by your actions. If other players look up to you, use your authority to make a positive difference.

Because no one should be making lazy generalizations about any group of people.

Different Types of Soccer Families

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