The Premier League and our clubs continue to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, recognising LGBTQ+ inclusion and making it clear that football is for everyone.
Brentford's home win against Luton Town last weekend and Wednesday night's fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion are, like all Premier League matches between 2-7 December, dedicated to supporting Rainbow Laces.
For Kate Graham, a member of the LGBeeTs, a fan-run group of Brentford fans who identify as LGBTQ+, the support of her favourite club has had a positive and powerful effect.
“Just seeing the rainbow flag go around the stadium, it acknowledges that the LGBTQ+ fans are here, they have every right to be here," Kate told the club's official website.
"We’re just as loud as every other fan; we’re doing our job as the 12th man!
“I remember seeing the rainbow laces on [former player] Harlee Dean’s boots. That has an impact on me as a fan. It makes me feel welcome, it makes me feel part of what’s happening.”
🏳️🌈 "The power of a #rainbowlaces game is just seeing the rainbow flag. It is acknowledging that your LBGTQ+ fans are here and have every right to be here"— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) November 30, 2023
Ahead of Saturday's Rainbow Laces game against Luton, Kate Graham from the @LGBT_Bees explains the power of the campaign pic.twitter.com/xf7BQHxarn
Kate, who first start attending matches as a youngster with her brother, says that her involvement with the LGBeeTs has also made a profound difference to her sense of feeling accepted and belonging.
“My experience as a fan majorly changed when I got involved with the LGBeeTs," she continues. "I’ve been involved for five-and-a-half years now and it’s brilliant.
"[It's] a group of like-minded people, all lovely folks, who just want to chat about Brentford, shout and sing songs, meet up in the pub.
“It’s really lovely to be in a group where I don’t have that sense of anxiety, I’m just here with my mates.”